It was the last week of 2016; we were having Tongba at our usual place. Discussing with my friend Suraj, on “what to do” in New Year’s Eve because we wanted to try something different this time. Anyways, we ended up drinking and waking up like shit face with the biggest hangover. Finally, after some Tongba kicks, we decided to go MANANG by bike.
Some of my friends and family members are always eager to go trek with me. I called my sister Manisha and Suraj’s brother Suraj. They responded yes and were all excited; literally ready to go. So, that makes 4 people& 2 bikes.
So, we started packing all our trekking stuff; bags filled with clothes, cash and some booze. We were ready for the ride.
Day 1 Kathmandu to Dharapani 1860m (12 hour ride)
Everything and everybody were prepared for the ride. Our plan was to start our ride at 7:00 am. All 4 of us met at the Newroad tea shop, made a budget plan for the trip that includes fooding, lodging and fuel. Finally, we started our bike filled with fuel up to the top. It was cold in the bike; the whole body was freezing. Our first stop was at Malekhu after 2 hour ride; we had breakfast and some sun. We continued our ride till we reached Dumre; all the way to Besisahar. It is the place where the real ride or trek begins for ABC the circuit. We reached Besisahar at 12.30 pm where we had our lunch at a small hotel. We filled our water bottle for the remaining ride, while Suraj and I Talked to some local people to know more about road condition because forthcoming roads are all rough and off. I knew the road already as I had travelled to circuit like 4 years ago. During that time, the roads were difficult and rough steep. The local people said the road is under construction, some bridges are made but overall condition is same. As usual they blamed political group for the “no development” of the Road. After the lunch, at 1 pm we started our ride again. In Just a couple of minute we faced rough road .The road is as usual earthy full of sand, water, big small all kind of stones. Some path is upward cover with big stone where we have to push our bikes with our full power and some are down with slippery stone where we work as brake to support a bike.
But the scenery was mind blowing. We never saw such crystal clear Marsyandi river. The mountains at top covered in snow; in the road’s edge big trees are standing like leader. The main attraction was the ice cold waterfalls; so beautiful, long and big. The sound of waterfall is so real that your heart will pound fast automatically. There is one big waterfall after we cross Chamje that looks like a wallpaper or big picture movie. Everything felt like a dream coming true.
Night falls fast in mountains, the day soon got into dark. We planned to reach Chame but it seemed hard to reach there and also we all were out of energy and was dangerous to ride at night. We decided to stay at Dharpani, near to chame. At 6:00 pm we reached Dharapani. Suraj went to talk to the owner of hotel Tasi Delek at Dharpani to manage the cost of the stay for the night along with the food. Since it was off season the price was pretty cheap than we guessed. After ordering food and leaving our bags on our rooms, we went to dine along with our very own “Raksi”. It was New Year’s Eve and we were in mountains; so by the rule we celebrated the New Year 2017.
Day 2 Dharapani to Manang 3600m (8 hour ride)
We woke up early morning, had cup of tea with plain Pancake and honey. We filled our bottle with hot water. It’s our first day of year 2017 so we feel full energetic and cold. We start our ride at 8:00 am just few blocks from our hotel there is police check post where they enter bike number and name of the rider. The road was not as difficult as yesterday but it was still off road and some path is dangerous. After few hour rides at 12:00am we reached the place called Chame (2650m). Chame is the headquarters of Manang District in the Gandaki Zone of northern Nepal. It is very unspoiled place and the people are very friendly. So we stop in a restaurant to eat lunch. We were so much hungry at that time so one thing that they can make fast and tasty is Noodles with egg. We wait outside for our food and taking some photograph of village suddenly something crazy happen.
Snow began to fall right in front of us that were unbelieving movement. From the time we have witnessed the first snow of winter. That day, crystal flakes glided down from sky, there it was. Snowflakes fell softly to the ground. The sky was lit up, white, hazy. The air had gotten colder it was like the best gift for our new year. The naked trees, along the edges of the mountain cover under the weight of the snow that lay on their branches. We forgot everything we encounter on the road the dirt, difficult path, pain, hungry & cold like literally everything. We finished our lunch ready to start our ride. The local people told from here the road will be not hard as yesterday. We all are happy to hear this news. On top of that we having snowflakes fall on our way. Few hours later we reached in village name called Humde. There was a small domestic airport and not a single person worked or any security guard. So we went inside the airport on the track to get some picture. After taking some funny picture we are on the way to our last destination. In the road we meet some nice Nepali people Razib dai and Shilpa dd .They are also going to Manang to celebrate new year.
By the evening at 4:00 pm we finally reached Manang 3600m heaven place on earth. It is situated on the broad valley of the Marshyangdi River to the north of the Annapurna mountain range. Most groups trekking around the Annapurna will take resting days in Manang to acclimatize to the high altitude, before taking the "Thorong La" pass and highest Lake Tiluche Lake 54900m. The village is situated on the northern slope, which gets the most sunlight and the least snow cover in the winter. We meet the owner of Hotel yak and book the room. At this point we are tired and fell shivery so went to search “Bhati” for hot drinks. Suraj found the place for rest and hot Rakshi we went inside it was big place lots of decoration and all the kitchen equipment are hanging around. Just couple of shots we decided go to view point of Gangapurna glacier 3900m.so went outside and start our hike after 1 hour hike we reached at view point but until that time night fall it was dark we just saw some glimpse of glacier. We are happy just to see that and Gangapurna Lake which was freeze .We came back to hotel and dinner is already ready. We just chow down our food went to sleep and wishing for good weather in morning
Day 3 Manang to Danagyu 2300m (11 hour ride)
Wooo, the morning view was the best part of whole ride. Whole village is cover with snow the temperature is below 0. The Himalayas was Magnificent and it looks so close that we could touch it. Just in front of our hotel there was Annapurna III 7555m and Gangapurna 7455m. We take out our camera start to taking picture of Himalayas and ours. There was snow just lying there but we cannot play because it was freaking cold that our hands feel like it will fall.So after some snap we start our packaging, order egg and a tea. We planned to reach Besisahar and if everything fine continue to go Kathmandu. We are also worried for the bike that it cannot be stat due to cold air. Luckily after few minute try it work and we are ready to move. The Razib Dai suggest to go together because of snow is so slippery. We agreed to go with them and start our journey. First the road was good little bit slippery not a big deal. But after we cross Humde then nightmare starts. There is snow up to half feet and it was so slippery we cannot walk properly. The road is filled with hardcore ice there is no way we could ride. So we rest in the middle of road and make a plan how we bring back the bike to our home safely. At the movement Razib Dai have idea we make knot from our scarf in bike leg guard on two side to pull from in front and one person push from backward keep maintain the balance. It was so difficult and exhausting but we have no order option. Razib dai provide us some sneaker chocolate and red bull for our boost. Just to ride like 500m road we spend 30 minute per bike for pulling and pushing. We all are out of energy and decided to stay a night at any village where there is not a single snow lying on road. On the way we meet some local people they told after crossing Timang village there is no snow. The place is called Danagyu it was not far away. If we just walk we reached in 1hour or less. But we have to lift the bike it takes almost 4 hour. At 7 pm we finally reached in Danagyu it was already pitch dark. We stay in Peaceful Guest House the owner is very nice and talk about their cultural and traditional. The owner provides us Manangie coffee it is strong in flavour some herb they mix it up. Also they make Yak Meat for dal bhat which is best part of that day.
Day 4 Danagyu to Kathmandu (14 hour ride)
Last day of our ride we wake up early and take some loan of petrol from Razib dai. We finish our breakfast and ready to start. Everybody is thinking today anyhow we will reached our home. Again, difficult road are began to start but this time it seem little bit easy to ride. We reached a beautiful waterfall that we had noticed on our way up but that time hadn't had time to feel it. So we rest & went near to waterfall and wash our face it’s so ice cool full relaxing.
At 1:00 pm we reached at small lodge we order dal bhat. Just near lodge Marsangdi river is flowing down it so crystal clear. So went near to river and start throwing the stone. After finishing our lunch we continue our ride. Finally we reached to Besisahar at 4:00 pm. We are so much happy at time. Suraj want to bow the pitch road, from here Kathmandu is near to us.
We finally reached home at about 11 pm at the night. We all are so exhausted just want to lying down in bed. My family are happy to come home safely I showed some picture. Manang will be most difficult ride, adventure, awesome, coldness and beautiful rides I have ever gone. Once someone YouTube blogger said “Fill your life with experience not things, have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”