Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Two Brothers trek to Mardi Himal Base Camp


"Follow me down to the valley below
You know
Moonlight is bleeding from out of your soul."-(Lazarus by Porcupine Tree).

Every time, this song reminds me of my trek to the Mardi Himal. From riding the extreme offroads to listening to my best music above the clouds, this trek will always be special. How can I forget that moment when we(my brother and me) both all tired and cold took a nap on the lap of Himalaya and the first rays of morning sun welcomed us with some warmth. It's simple but it makes me happy when I remember.

Destination: Mardi Himal Base Camp(4450m)
Days required: minimum 3 days
Cost:10,000 Npr is enough
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Season: Except for extreme winter or monsoon

Day 1(Kathmandu to siding)

It was December of 2017. My birthday, our holiday, and winter. Everything was perfect for the trek to happen. So, on Dec 22 at around 6 in the morning me and my brother started the journey towards Sidhing. The plan was to reach low camp the very first day. We can start the trek directly from Naya pul too but we chose the sidhing route. The way to Pokhara was smooth and fast. The real adventure began as soon as we reached Pokhara and took a way towards sidhing. The first few kilometers were ok but then the road began to change from bad to worst. My brother was riding the bike and I was trying hard to stay balanced and that was tough. The view was nice though and the mount macchapuchre was getting bigger and bigger. What not nice was the road. Thank god that the bike didn't give up in the middle of nowhere. We could see a hotel at the top of a hill. Little did we knew that it was our destination for the day. The name of the hotel was Hotel Trekkers home. As we reached the hotel we found out that the trekking route was right from there. Actually,sidhing is the return route of the Mardi trek from where the trekkers reach Pokhara through jeep facilities provided by that very hotel.

It was already around 4 pm and after lunch, at the hotel, my brother was all pumped for the trek as it was his first trekking ever. Our initial plan was to reach low camp by the evening but plans made at home merely work sometimes. The lady at the hotel suggested not to start trekking at that time because it was getting darker and there was no stop between the hotel and low camp.No one wants to be in the middle of the forest at night. So, we decided to stay at the hotel that night. That evening went good. It went gloomy but we still had few minutes of daylight left. From the backside of the hotel, we could see all the way from where we came. It was quite a tiring day.

Day 2(Sidhing to low camp to high camp)

Woke up early and it was still dark. We started the journey by 6 am. The lady at the hotel provided us with a stick to use as a trekking pole. After 15 minutes of walking uphill, we immediately realized that starting the trek a day before at 4pm would be straight foolishness. It would end up in us being stuck in the nighttime inside the Annapurna conservation area.

I was really surprised by the energy of my brother. He was walking without a pause. On the other hand, I was often sitting and catching my breath. It was taking too long to reach Low camp and we were tired. The route is a complete uphill forest area along with the view of Macchapuchhre. The mountain was getting closer and closer. We took some 20 mins of rest and enjoyed the foods that we had brought with us. At around 10 we reached the low camp.

After having Dal vat at the low camp we left at about 11:30 to head for the high camp. We could see the high camp from the low camp but trust me it only looked near. But after walking for few minutes from the low camp we could see the mountains. The view was so spectacular that it was like a painkiller for our body ache. It was what I wanted. I was looking at my brother seeing the mountains that close for the first time. He is not so into these traveling and wandering. We further continued our journey. The entire Annapurna mountain range was on our side throughout the trek after. Mount Machhapuchhre was right in front of us. We reached the high camp at about 4pm and we were extremely tired. It was cold and it was Christmas eve that day. After booking the room, we kept our stuff in the room and came out to see and feel the vibe. I can't explain the beauty of that place at the dusk.

I felt like we were in some different world up above the clouds. The wind was cold and the tea was hot. We had one more point to reach tomorrow.

Day 3(High camp to Mardi Himal base camp)

Yes, man from high camp to base camp we managed to reach Kathmandu by 11 pm at night. Dec 24, my birthday. Woke up just before dawn. We were first to leave the camp for the base camp. I wanted that perfect sunrise view from the upper viewpoint. So, with the aid of mobile flash me and my brother started the journey.20 minutes into the walk and we were gaining altitude.Cold December morning and oh man I can't explain that view right now. It was still dark. But the horizon seemed like it was catching fire. We were cold and then we could see each other's breath. Upon reaching the high point we were so tired that we took a rest and the rest turned to a short nap. How can I forget that moment when we(my brother and me) both all tired and cold took a nap on the lap of Himalaya and the first rays of morning Sun welcomed us with some warmth.It is simple but it makes me happy when i remember.

The mountains were majestic and the sky was clear. The wind was cold and the sun was warm. It was my perfect place to be in. I played the song Lazarus by Porcupine Tree and this very song will forever give me nostalgia for that particular moment.

My brother sang me the happy birthday song at that place and I will cherish that moment too. So, after that, the returning journey started. It was all downhill trek to sidhing.Its difficult but it is faster too. By 4 PM we reached sidhing, started the bike, and reached home by the night.

Memories made and bucket list checked.