Here’s is a travel log of my most enjoyable trek in October 2009 up to the breath-taking Langtang region, Gosainkunda Lake and ultimately connecting to the Helambu trail and ending in Sundarijal, Kathmandu. If you have questions please comment below and I will answer.
1st day: Oct 25th, Sunday – Kathmandu (1300m) to Shaybrubesi (1900m):
A couple of us on a hired 4 wheel Land cruiser through Kathmandu to Trisuli bazaar to Dhunche all the way up to the 100 something kilometers north to a place called “syaure besi”, the gateway to the Langtang valley of mountains. The trip was about 8 hours (you could probably do it in 6 hours but we took some long breaks on the way) Here we stayed at Buddha Guest house. Pretty boring place this Syaure Besi, but it is the gateway to the trek. The hotel owner was a local Sherpa-Tamang, giving hints of the the type of people you would meet on the trip.
2nd day: Oct 26th, Monday – Shaybrubesi to Rimche (2400m):
We started early morning. Everyone with backpacks. There were 4 of us trekkers with 3 porters, and a guide who is also a friend of mine. We immediately crossed this long suspension bridge (the first of many to come) and started our tough walk up. You get a hard dose of reality of having to trek uphill on your first day of trekking. As I sweated through the morning, philosophical thoughts about my life crept on me. “What am i supposed to do? ” The way in which one lives his life is the burning mystery of the ages. What manner am i living my life ? ” Anyway we stopped around noon at a place called “Bamboo lodge” after a tough 4 hours of trek. We had some good lunch. (Rice Lentils Vegetables). By the way, this Langtang region is an all vegetarian zone mostly because it is almost impossible to find meat in any of the menus. You will get eggs and milk though. After a further 3 hours of uphill tortorous walk, we finally reached our first night of trekking stay at a place called “Rimche”. There was one lodge here called “Ganesh View” . Accomodation is basic and its run by a local Sherpa family . Rimche is 15 to 20 minutes from a more frequented “Lama Hotel area” where you might get more hotels to stay in, but is not as scenic as Rimche.
Have been reading poems by Rumi. They say in Iran, there is a game called “moshaereh” a game of ritual serial poem reciting. Usually one line of poems by famous poets like Rumi are used. I would have loved to play that.
3rd day: Oct 27th, Tuesday – From Rimche to Langtang village (3400 meters)
This 2nd day of trek is fairly easy compared to the earlier day. But we still were gaining altitude like crazy. We readched the langtang valley around 4 ish. Ate lunch at Godha tabala. We decided to stay at a hotel called “Eco hotel”. it seems the few hotels that were open seemed all of comparable standards. Right behind the hotel, was a cheese factory. So we went up to taste the local cheese made with the help of swiss technology. 🙂 there was also a clinic/medical shop which would be handy since one of us in the team was suffering from cold. Langtang village is the first taste of altitude, village atmosphere, high mountains, and cold winds. Thought of the day: Dust doesn’t do much to our head, nor does water. but a mixture of dust and water becomes hard clay which can crack our head.”
4th day: October 28th, Wednesday – From Langtang village (3400m) to Kenjin Gompa (3800m)
As a trek member fell sick in langtang village, we decide to do a day trip to Kenjin Gompa, instead of going to stay there. It was about 4 hours trip to the Gompa (monastry in local language). On high altitude, it’s harder to walk, even a short distance leaves you out of breath. Kenjin Gompa, people usually stay there for 2 nights, as there a few side treks that can be done. One is a trek atop a 4900 meters mountain from where you can see a 360 degrees panaroma of mountains in the langtang valley. Kenjin Gompa is the last inhabitable place in this side of the mountains and a hub with a lot of hotels, and even a pub! The hotels say they can fit in 500 people at any one time. ( a bit inflated, i suppose). We had lunch at Yak view hotel.
5th day: October 29th, Thursday – Langtang village back to Rimche.
While coming back one of the sick members of the trekking group badly sprained her ankle but still she could limp back to Rimche. We stayed at the same Ganesh View Hotel. The trip was much faster (downhill) and with some nice alpine habitation views. Had lunch around Lama hotel area. We are trying to decide whether we have to heli-rescue her as she may not be able to continue with her trip. It was a lovely night and all of us huddled together, few austrians, poles, germans, french, nepalis, americans.
6th day: October 30th, Friday – Rimche to Thulo Shabru (2000m)
In the morning, our sick friend decided she was in no condition to walk much. So we called in a helicopter to bring her all the way to Kathmandu (about half an hour). The Helicopter landed on a steep ridge besides a nearby village called Sherpa Gaon, after some attempts. I decided to continue the trip alone, as i was not sure if the rest of the team would be coming along or abandoning the trip. It was a quick downhill to a place called “pahiro” and then all the way uphill to “Thulo Syabru” which is where most of the hoteliers main village in the langtang area. Thulo Shabru lies on the way to the religiously important and breathtaking Gosaikund lakes up around 4460 meters. met a sherpa woman on the way and we basically talked through the uphill journey. I found out her brother in law had just died from falling down a cliff near there a few days. The trails did not seem dangerous, but it could be, if you walk very carelessly. In the evening there was a local celebration going on all night long. All the village had gathered to celebrate the 45th day of a kinsmen’s death. lots drinking, singing and dancing going on. I couldn’t go on all night as i was tired. but i could hear the sherpa songs right from my room in the hotel.
7th day: October 31st, Saturday – Thulo Shabru to Sen Gompa (3300m):
Its a steep climb from Thulo Shabru but the trail is breath taking as you see all the mountains as you look back while climbing from sub 2000 meters all the way to 3300 meters. be ready for your stair master training. Had lunch on a beautiful mountain top where you can see the view of Ganesh Himal and the langtang mountains on the other side. Its worth staying a night right there. But I had plenty of time so carried on to Sen Gompa. Sen Gomba is pretty warm considering its height. It also has a cheese factory. I stayed at the “red panda guest house”. Very nice and cozy. A big french group of 11 tourists joined with another 8 or so porters, got a bit crowded in there. I even had a mobile phone reception there. So got to call people up to catch up from a lovely mountain top. I also got to sip a tea of local sepak-thorn berries that is native to the high mountains in Nepal.
8th day: Novermber 1st, Sunday – Sen Gompa to Gosaikunda Lakes (4400m)
Another day of steep climb from 3300 meters to 4460 meters. The morning was a breathtaking trek literally. The altitude made the wak uphill very hard. But as i reached the pass into the Gosaikund lakes, there was relief now that i only had a short way up to go. The view is very stark and wonderful. The landscape is alien to most i had seen on the trip so far. I had tea near the pass and then started walking again, passing through turquise glacial water fed lakes. was a bit afraid of the cliff walk that i had to go through. A group of elderly germans were upfront. It seems incredible seeing 60 to 70 year olds doing this trek and literally on the same pace as myself. Gosaikunda was cold but breathtaking. There were several lakes you could see around and i decided to take a walk around the main lake (also wellknown in religious circles as one the holiest lakes in hinduism). The water feeds from the snows of the mountains above and is probably clean to drink off right from it. The night turned out to specially chilly and windy as the winds howled all night. The toilet was literally frozen so had a rough night not being able to sleep through. Must be a combination of cold and altitude.
9th day: November 2, Monday – Gosaikunda lakes to Thaare paati (3800m)
The next day, early morning started my trek up from the lakes to another bigger pass around 4600 meters. Went through several lakes. Took the holy waters from the lakes as a souvenier for my mother (an hindu) and my hands nearly got frozen in the process. -the water is that cold up here. After another hard climb -finally we started descenting all the way to to “phedi” where we had some tea. There i met an israeli father and daughter from Haifa. They were to be my travel mates to Kathmandu. They were amazed to see so much greenery and water here compared to back home. The walk from Gosaikunda to Thaare paati is tough, long ups and downs and exhausts every part of your body. If you are slow , you can rest in “ghopte” or another lodge half an hour from “ghopte”. Stayed at “Taashi Dele” lodge there. nothing spectacular but a warmer place than the chilly gosaikunda hotels. asked for an extra blanket still. A warmer sleeping bag is on my shopping list this year.
10th day: November 3rd, Tuesday – Thaare paati – Kutumsang
This has to be the relaxing walk of all the trip. Enjoyable, warm, and pretty scenic. You see the Gaurishankar mountains on the north-east. All downhill. good alpine forest view. it took us about 5 hours of good walk. Stayed at the Mountain View Guest house, which had excellent rooms with good views and a hot shower (desperately nice). My walking sticks helped a lot while downhill. I highly recommend you carry them on your trip. Kutumsang is a lovely village with a warm weather on a hilltop.
The manager/cook was a pretty jolly fellow called “jeet” who loved to talk and entertain guests.
11th day: November 4th, Wednesday – Kutumsang to Chiso Paani
Basically this was a big walk down and then towards the end, quite a steep climb. I was starting to get home itchiness, considering i was only a day away from Kathmandu. Had lunch, near chiplang. passed through a couple of nice hill tops with nice view of the mountains to the north all the way from the Annapurna to the Gaurishankar range. After more than a week of walking, I was longing for a bit of a civilization although dreading the noise and all the baggage that comes with it. In chiso paani stayed at a pretty okay guesthouse. Saw motorbikes passing by which pretty much alerted us to the impending explosion of ‘civilization’.
12th and last day: November 5th, Thursday – Chiso Paani to Sundarijal to Kathmandu
We started around 8 in the morning and went through a great forest trail about 300 meters and then all the way down to sundarijal inside the Kathmandu valley. We could hear the aeroplanes making their landing at the international airport in Kathmandu. The forest walk was refreshing, pretty different from the mountain walk for the previous walk. After 3 hours we came to the water reservior in sundarijal where we took a short break before heading the main town and took a 30 rupees bus which soon (about an hour) took us inside the main kathmandu city). The trip was finally over when we were greeted with honking horns, dusts, crowds of people, animals and concrete houses. I was not exactly happy to be here after more than a week of serenity and hard walk across the nature. But one has to end what one has begun. And thus, my langtang trek was finally over. But i promise to be back to it again, now i know what is out there. I may do a couple of variations in the trek and maybe come around the time in spring -march/april when rhodendrons grow and the hills /mountains look all colorful instead of just green like in this trip.
Questions? ask below 🙂