Leaning buildings of Chisapani
Sunday, 2 Feb, 2020
Kathmandu - Sunderjal (1400m) - Chisapani (2160m)
We enjoyed our Vietnamese dinner very much. The food was excellent and the room was warmed by a wood burning stove. We stopped off at Cocina Mitho Chua, a hospitality training restaurant for some dessert, trying both their carrot cake and chocolate almond cake. Georgia described the evening as a little mini break as we particularly enjoyed the warmth and comfort of our hotel room, leaving the sleeping bags securely packed.
Breakfast was at 8am and Jonno arrived a little late, requesting immodium for his upset stomach. Not a good sign. The minibus arrived and we headed off to pick up Bokta and Gopal, Puncha having already met us at the hotel.
It was a slow trip through Kathmandu. Saturday is the only non-school day and the roads were full of school buses and motor bikes as well as a smattering of deluxe buses and the occasional truck. The roads became dirt and filled with potholes. There is nothing pretty about Kathmandu and everything was very dusty.
Eventually we started to see some patches of cultivated green and the buildings became more spread out. We reached the end of the road at Sunderjal and waited whilst the porters packed our gear, watching some of the locals raising a sign which announced that today, Feb 2, was World Wetlands Day.
We passed water flowing down steps, apparently flowing from Melmachi Pul Bazaar, a source of drinking water for Kathmandu and the final stop on our abridged Helambu walk. The path up to the national park was steep but we soon reached the entrance to Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, where we stopped to pay the 1,000 NPRs foreigner entrance fee. The monkeys entertained us whilst we waited for the paperwork to be sorted.
The path continued ascending steeply and we stopped again near some army barracks where the soldiers were on parade and numbering off. There was a soldier standing separately with a big machine gun so I didn't dare take a photo.
After further climbing we stopped for morning tea at which time Georgia was not feeling well. She struggled to drink some tea but was feeling quite nauseous. After a rest we continued on for another half an hour before stopping for lunch and an opportunity for Georgia to rest some more. She drank a little soup but didn't feel like eating. There were views from the restaurant to Kathmandu but it was very hazy.
Soon after lunch we passed some goats and chickens along the path. Georgia started to feel a little better. The path continued to climb for another two hours before we reached the top of the pass, decorated with flags and coloured scarves. The walking then became easier and an hour later we reached the end of the national park and the outskirts of Chisapani.
The village had been impacted by the earthquake as evidenced by the significant lean on the abandoned buildings that looked as if the could topple over at any time.
We found Georgia sitting outside the Dorje Lakpa Hotel and Lodge enjoying the afternoon sun and feeling better. Jonno was on his phone in his room. We changed into our apres trekking warm clothes as there was no fire in the dining room and gathered for some crackers and yaks cheese before ordering dinner.