Pisang to Besisahar by Car

Entering last part of Nepal trip. So by now, we have gone through most part of the trip. We have reached Manang, spent a night sleepover, and now It’s time to go down by car. We opted to use car for the benefit of time. It’s actually also possible if you would like to go on foot if you have the time. Our trip this time would be Manang – Besisahar. To leave Nepal we must go back to Khatmandu however It’s not recommended to go directly from Pisang to Khatmandu and based on my experience it’s indeed not recommended so please adjust your travel plan accordingly. For us, we have been informed that it may take around 6 – 8 hours drive from Manang to Besisahar by our guide. So there we were waking up in the morning, eating our breakfast, soaking the last Manang air, and loading all luggage to the car.

The road From Manang to Besisahar was like an off road. Again, I was just so amazed by the driving skills. We rode a 4 wheel drive ( for sure ) and it was a cloudy day. Basically, if we move a bit too far left or right, it was already a cliff. We were driving in a white haze. Yet, somehow I felt safe. LOL.. that kind of feeling like when you ride a plane. There is no going back once departed and you could only trust the pilot. It’s also worth noting that sometimes there will be roadblocks and land slides. Hence it’s important to calculate and put some ample time into your estimation. We were still able to get through this time but sometimes we can’t and need to get down, offload and load back our luggage to another car. Just like what we had in the beginning of the trip to chame.

Along the way, we have noticed that Manang – Upper Pisang ( that killer trail in day 2 ) was only about 2 hours drive away by car. hahaha.. my city girl kind of thought was intrigued, “why didn’t we just use car then?” anyway, it’s not that I regretted the experience – Just a thought that crossed my mind.

Our trip was rather quick. I think our driver was like either a respected person or very famous. He kept on getting a call and when there was another car passing many said hi to him. He seemed to know the road pretty well so yes it helped to fastened our trip. We stopped 2 times . One stop was short, there is an apple farm between Pisang and Besisahar, you could stop by over here and get a fresh farm products or getting a bit of a refreshment. Second stop was actually for our lunch. By this time, I don’t know how many momos or noodle that I’ve eaten. Food wise, I tend to go with a mild taste so I found that Dal Bhat is a bit too strong for my palate but my friends seemed to like it. The one in our last stop I could accept it. Worry not, Dal Bhat default type will be suitable for vegetarian. The meat if you want to is treated as an add on. Portion is very generous and you could ask for more rice with no additional cost, well.. for me, it seemed we could get more of everything (besides the meat add on ) with no additional cost. Definitely enough for us to carry on through until our destination in Besisahar.

We reached Besisahar so much faster that we originally planned. I think it was around 2 PM. What we did was we checked in to the logging and as usual we planned out dinner ahead of time and agreed to meet each other at dinner time. Taking a bit of a stroll in Besisahar somehow felt strange. Besisahar looked like a modern city with many vehicles passing by. It was a rather busy city. By this time, I didn’t remember to take pictures anymore. unfortunately. ;'(

For me, since I still felt a bit under the weather, I only took a bit of stroll around the city. trying to get some more surgical mask to fight the dust and so that my sore throat didn’t get worse. Thankfully there was a pharmacy nearby the hotel. The experience to buy things was a bit confusing because we didn’t use to the brand and what I found was that the medicines choices somehow went towards Herb or Ayuverdic medicine. I couldn’t really get the usual medicine that we have back in Indonesia. Well, my throat was killing me so i tried one. For Mask, they didn’t really have surgical mask, they have the usual mask though but it’s an ear loop so if you wear hijab just make sure you have the mask head loop add on. We went there before the pandemic so it was still uncommon but now it’s available in many places make sure you pack it too. Basically just that before I went back to the hotel and stay for the night getting into hot Shower, Electricity, Internet access, and food, usual items that I appreciated more after I went hiking.

I wish you were there with us drunk by the mountain trip with happiness in our heart.

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

The Hike From Pisang to Manang ( Part 2 )

Morning! What a good day after such a long walk (see in part 1). We had just about enough rest to continue. Only after such bright morning we could really soaked in the place which we slept for the night. We were just so tireeeedddd… It was a good place with washing machine and water heater. wow.. it’s just wow. It’s not a fancy hotel but it felt like a bliss to have all of that after all that we have been through. So yup, it was great to have a rest.

After we unpacked our belongings and cleaned ourselves up, we went to have dinner. It was the first time i tried Yak meat. It was like a lamb but taste like beef? What i know is that it helps to heat yourself up. It was a good choice to go to at that time as i felt a bit under the weather. After dinner what’s left is only sleeping and you know.. unplugging yourself from the world. Oh, don’t forget to order your breakfast the night before and informed your plan for next day. Preparing food takes time.

Getting up in the morning, the sun shined nicely. We could see a bit of the icy / snowy mountain peak. 😉 we could enjoy the morning scenery better now that we had our rest. Haha.. yet after the breakfast ( notes : Nepali portion was really generous in carbohydrate ) we need to pack up and continue our journey. Here we go to Manang!

Coming out of the accommodation, our eyes were entertained a lot by the environment. You know when we were kids ( or at least for me ) there was this one kind of drawing template that we usually drew when we were asked to draw nature. The famous 2 mountains with sun in between and a river flows in the middle of rice field. Little did i know, years later in foreign land i saw that image right before my eyes. The colour and the view felt surreal. How could it be? do you agree with me?

Walk to Manang – by Mondya

We walked alongside the river and it was kind of calming. Made me remember my hometown though. Some people are working alongside the river crushing some stones, some tending the field, and some are climbing up / down the hill bringing some items with them, looked like a groceries for me. I was actually amazed with the Nepali. Their build is similar like Indonesian yet their strength is in a different level.

I think evolution play its role. In my head i think there are some characteristic that i’ve noticed. Eyes and skin are very well adjusted to the altitude where sky and sun feels near. Other than that, their lung and blood cells might have adjusted as well. For me, normal breathing felt like a sport at certain times…yet look at them moving like it’s nothing. haha.. my sedentary lifestyle might have affect my ability as well i guess. Training in the gym surely different with training in nature. At least, that much i know.

While i was busy thinking, i didn’t notice that we have finally arrived at the gate of Manang. Whaaattt….??? It turned out that our last stop wasn’t that far away from Manang. LOL.. that reality haven’t sunk for sometime. waw, we have finally arrived? really? It was quite a journey to reach this place. I could only see the surrounding and felt like.. waw.

Once you get into the gate, you could start to see the city of Manang. It was a good change after all the rocky hills felt like coming back to the civilization ( a bit hyperbolic i know ). The city is rather small but pretty in its own way. Our guide suggested us to have a bit of a break then continue to our destination. So there we were taking a bit of stroll around the city looking for the recommended Bakery – Tilicho Bakery. It’s a good cafe with choices of drinks. It felt a bit foreign at the beginning after walking a different path therefore it’s quite good change in sceneries or yet again it’s just the city girl in me that pushed through.

It was a good coffee break in the bakery but our journey was not over yet. We still needed to pack up our things and go to our last point of interest for the day – Gangapurna lake. The walk felt like a breeze. My suggestion would be to pack light, perhaps leaving your heavy luggage behind at your accommodation then take a walk to the Lake but still wear your jacket. Mountain wind could be harsh and the altitude is at 3,000m++ above sea level. The weather was so much different from Jakarta which only 8m above sea level. Haha.

To get to the lake you will need to take a walk along the pathways then there was an intersection and we need to take turn to the left and that’s the point where the nature will say hi to you in its own beautiful way. Honestly, we can’t really see the lake so we just followed our guide. First we went down a hill, crossed a bridge, then another elevation welcomed us not that steep but oh well… yet after that walked up the hill, there lies Gangpurna lake. You know that feeling of relief and serene. Seeing the water and just take a moment and pause to enjoy the moment. Soak everything into your memory.

To share it with you, personally, when I sat at the edge of the lake, some emptiness creeped out. There was that mix of emotion that I couldn’t really describe. The circuit that my pack and I chose might not be as challenging as the other circuit yet it’s not about comparison. I believe all of the circuits have their own things to offer. This one has been a very good one for me.

Once you feel like you had enough.. it was time to go and get some rest. Remember when I said the walk was like a breeze? I might have judged it too soon. The walk to go out of the Lake was alright but the way to go back to the city center was another story. The road was soooo steep. Oh dear my heart hang in there… I think if you see us you felt like you were watching a pack of turtles who walked really slow. LOL. Even in some points we made our stop. But Hey.. that’s totally alright. Everyone has their own pace. 🙂 Worry not though it was only some part of the journey, it was not like the killer trail that we had the day before. After you passed that part, a lovely stone walk will welcome you within the city.

Manang City itself is actually serve as a last stop before another circuit. Hence, over here you will be able to get good pitstop. There were many accommodations, restaurants, and they also have some stores selling staples and souvenirs which pretty good for us because Manang was our last stop before going down.

Alright, now it’s time to get off and get some rest. Have a look on some sneak peak of Manang city before. We didn’t take that much of a picture this time and maybe you won’t too if you go here. There are moments that were there to be enjoyed and kept in memories. It was like meeting good friend and have a long talk with nothing but happiness in our heart.

I wish you were there with us.

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

The Hike from Pisang to Manang ( part 1 )

Morning comes and we need to get ourselves ready to continue our trip. Small reminder – order your breakfast after your dinner along with the timing when do you want to have your breakfast or else you have to wait for around 1 hour or so. Finishing our breakfast, packing up, we always check if we have enough water supply until the next stop. Along the way you will find some water sources which our guide said it’s common for local to drink but he’s worried that it might not suitable for us. Hence we decided to go with bottled water along our way. Funny part is the price raise around 50 – 100 rupees following the raise of elevation.

Once we are ready, we continued the journey from Pisang to Manang. We took the upper trail. If you google it you will find lower and upper. Upper trail will really blessed you with a great view but the trail is more challenging. Doable but tougher in which you will see how within this writing.

Started with a walk along the village where we stayed. We noticed that the structure was built by mailny by using rocks, woods, and something which looks like bushes but we weren’t really sure. At the gate where we went out of the village there is another spinning prayer wheels. You could see quite number of it within the trail. Well, don’t forget to pray for everyone’s health, safety, and happines!

Once we were near and passed the gates, we could see many farm fields. This is where we learned from our guide, these farm fields were also the reason behind it’s named as Annapurna. Anna means grain/food and Purna means Full so basically the name itself saying that the place is full with grains/food. it’s very beautiful to see though it’s a bit sad to see some of them are abandoned. I think this phenomena happens anywhere in the world. The youngster left the village and go to the city so now the village population are consist with more elders and kids.

the first part of the journey was mainly within the edge of a cliff and rocks and slight inclination. All is well all is good. There are some parts within the trails where the sun kicks in and the clouds went away until we could see the tip of Annapurna Mountain and the look of lower trail.

Walking for a while, we finally meet another prayer walls. This time it’s bigger than the previous one and our guide told us to have a rest. We enjoyed the view and taking a look at our surrounding until we reached the end of the prayer wheels and see the next trail. That point of time, we are all asked ourselves with fainted laugh –> “Why did we do this to ourselves?”. The next trail was no joke. You literally crossing a valley going with a steeper inclination. Get your hiking stick ready. It comes handy.

Here we go! First you will need to cross a bridge. By now i am quite used to it. Not to worry it’s safe though it may get shaky due to the wind and all the movement along the way. Once you crossed the bridge, the road starts to incline no need to be quick just go with your pace as this point of time if you are not used to it breathing itself may have become a sport. We are already above 3,000 m. Our heart and lungs work hard already so just adjust your pace wisely and stop where you need it. Here are some pictures out of that experience.

When i finished the trail, sitting there i looked at what i have just been through. wew… it was a long way down. Is it the end? LOL. Definitely no! not even half of the day yet felt so long already. there were a lot of people passing this trail too. It may be confusing without our guide. Left and right looking the same turned out that the trail could lead to different places. hufft… just let’s have a break for now. the wind was pretty strong and the sunshine strike through your eyes. Cover yourself accordingly. Good sunglasses is a must have. A polarized one with UV protection will be good for you.

We can’t stop for too long as it wasn’t even half of the journey. At the peak there are some small housing and village but off we go to the higher place. Overall, the view is about the same as the previous village where the building was made by using rocks and woods. It’s quite enjoyable to pass through the area.

Off from the village, here comes another journey of us. It is still going up and up and up. Rocks makes the road slightly hard to walk on the inclination is no help either. The view though.. Blue Sky, serene environment, and the sound of the wind. All that makes you concentrate on what is really lies before your eyes and to live in the moment. Things that we usually forget or take for granted. Over here every seconds really is felt by the whole body. Tired yes happy yes. Here we come Ngawal.

After that point around 3,700 m above sea level, we were going down to stay the night. This is something that i learned from the trip go hike to higher elevation is okay but stay in lower elevation. This is to avoid the AMS ( altitude mountain sickness ). That and also keep yourself hydrated, pacing ur walk accordingly, and perhaps some medication will do the trick if you need it. Some of us started to drink acetazolamide 2 days before the hike. There are some side effects that you needs to be aware off. It may cause you to feel thirsty yet at the same time push you to have a more frequent toilet visit which could be challenging at times but that spices up your journey, doesn’t it? 😛 Ok, from here off we go to get our late lunch. The trip was quite long this time it was already past 2 PM.

Continuing the journey of going down consist of flat surface, slight inclination due to the contour ( but manageable unlike morning hike ), and a steep slope in one part. This part is rather dusty. Wear your mask. Somehow the road started to have sands here and there and more trees this time. We took a break in between within the flat surface to enjoy the ridge and to check our health indicator. It was really is a long walk for the day and we haven’t finished yet. I recall when i sat down my brain feels empty. I was incapable of thinking as i used to. LOL. So.. my suggestion would be leave anything that you work on and things behind and just enjoy the moment. You have come a long way.

When the pact is complete and ready to go on, we carried on the journey. Along the way, our guide keep on telling us that it was already near but well.. he has been telling us that since hours back and yet here we are still walking. Honestly, i was a bit worried because the sun is about to set and i know we haven’t reached Manang yet. However, our guide took a quick calculation and i think he has the whole map in his head. He planned ahead and we finally end our journey in other city than Manang. It was Mungji.

The stop in Mungji was something that out of our plan but necessary i would say. Remember, when you are in a pack you need to make sure the whole bunch could carry on and i think it’s better to stop since it’s going to be dark soon. I was amazed by how fast the new arrangement could come into place. New accommodation arrangement and stuffs and there we went to that day place to stay. too bad that there was no picture. Haha..we were all just too tired.

let me pause it over here, by bidding you all a good bye and to see you on the next post related with how we reach MANANG. FINALLY!

Wish you were there to hike the mountain and bring our luggages.. *oops 🙂

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

The Hike From Chame to Pisang

Morning falls and here we are packing, preparing ourselves to take a long walk for the day. It was cloudy so we couldn’t really see the sun. Have i told you that the temperature was so cold? definitely no shower for me just a bit wash up is enough. 😛 we stayed in a tea house, a good one i must say since we could still have hot water ( though i can’t make it work ) and decent bungalow like room to sleep. Mone could accommodate 3 persons in a room. Oh, i also must tell you, within my journey, i realised that it took quite long to prepare your food beside dal bhat so ordered your breakfast after you finish your dinner if you plan to go off in the morning.

Once, we are ready we walked down the path. The road are still a solid path at the beginning. The same trail that a car could pass on. It was quite nice walk in a flat path with slight incline here and there. You could just enjoy the scenery from here.

Continuing the journey you start to enter the forest with all the trees and apparently sheeps with their shepherd dogs. It’s very cute to me. 🙂 just after we passed on an apple farm. It was good to stop by and enjoy a bit of a fresh apple.

You will be rewarded with different view when you do your walk, sometimes it’s trees, sometimes it’s rocky, and sometimes it is a bit scary cause there are some angles whereby you can’t see what’s ahead of you until you get into that point so you need to be very cautious here. During the trip you may see some spinning prayer wheels. Nepal people use this to pray spinning it while you go. You spin the smaller piece once and bigger piece more ( my bad i didn’t really remember how many times should i spin ).

Starting from this rocks, i was struck by a horrible headache. My allergy attacked me hard. it was suddenly felt so cold. I had to adjust my pace accordingly so that i didn’t faint. i started to wear my extra layers cause this is not even half way of that day. Here comes to the rescue my gloves, my second layered jacket, and face mask. It may look strange for some cause the weather was considered to be a very good weather. LOL. anyway, i will have to make it to the end of the day!

Off this walking trail, you will meet a road for cars. We followed that to grab our Lunch! Finally a stop by for me so that i could stabilise myself a bit. When you enter a place which looks like a housing complex ( perhaps ) there is a map which will give you some ideas where you are though they are not at scale. Similar like what i mentioned at the beginning, serving food really took sometime. Understandable, everything is cold so it will take sometime to heat it up moreover in such height.

Once we finished the lunch, here comes the second part of the trip another trail to walk on. I’ve gotta admit though this kind of walk is refreshing and my mind is just so clear. You don’t really think of anything leaving behind things for a while putting a stop to your usual. I must say my pack having a good time. Physically tired but happy.

This flat contour doesn’t last long though afterwards we will need to hike a bit into a higher altitude so if you choose this trail enjoy it while you can. Right when we think this won’t stop we entered another housing complex and our guide told us that this where we stopped for the day! Huraaaayy…! I would like to highlight it’s important to choose your guide correctly since along the way the situation change quite a lot. I think our guide measured it just about right for the first day.

We tried to settle in but really we were taken by the view. It was mesmerizing. All you need to do is just to come out of your room and there Annapurna mountain ahead of you swaying you with its beauty.

Looking back for the trip it was a good day. Everything just about right though it looks clear and bright, it was actually already near to the sunset time. I can’t really imagine if we continue or if we come a bit latter considering the path. All of us are considered as newbie who apparently crazy enough to choose Nepal as a first timer ( for me at least ). Darkness comes to us rather quickly and again the signals were gone sometimes after 6 PM. So off we go to rest so that we are ready for tomorrow.

Good night from us. Wish you were there to enjoy the scenery. 😉

ps. Allow me to pause over here and pray for everyone’s safety and well being in Nepal. Remembering the journey i can’t really imagine how COVID-19 pandemic affect this country tourism. This too shall pass and once again human will be ready to explore the nature.off the beaten path.

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

Road to Nepal : 13 Cloth Items To Bring and Wear

I’ve talked about Nepal + India Trip a bit over here
and now would like to elaborate on the gear up part for Hiking in Nepal.
Please note, the gear will be different depend on your route and facilities choices.

For my group, we went with AC ( Annapurna Circuit )
up until around 3700m above sea level and staying overnight at tea house.
Not a hardcore camping..yet.. :”>

It was on September and for our altitude we won’t experience ice.
With a lot of readings mix with experience,
here are the things that i will recommend for your clothing. From top to bottom

  1. Head Cover: Cap / beanies
    Though the temperature might look friendly,
    you are in high altitude and getting nearer to the sun.
    In cold temperature this will keep you warm
    while in hot day it will help in avoiding heat stroke.

notes : multi-function scarf. Bring this as it could be used for many things! to cover your head, neck, mask, etc.

  1. Day – Cloth – 1st Layer
    Go with Dri-Fit Materials. Not cotton. it’s light and drying fast
    It would be very beneficial if you are planning to wash it.
    I wore my gym cloth and it worked fine.
  2. Night – Cloth
    Wear warmer materials. Well, i wore heat-tech materials and loving it.
  3. Day – Jacket – 2nd Layer
    I suggest to bring something light and warm enough with hood.
    Wind breaker will be good for warmer weather.
    it will even be better with some water resistant / proof materials.
    Inner materials, personally i wore polar type. helpful to fight mountain wind.
  4. Night – Jacket
    I brought my down jacket and bring something with hood.
    I left the head cover part and regretted it.
  5. Rain Coat
    Bring it if it’s around wet season. make sure it covers your whole body.
  6. Hand Glove ( may/may not needed )
    Depends on your trail, if it’s not an ice kind of environment you may not need this.
    However, i found this helpful. It was simply because i am allergic to cold
    and this helped me to fight it. The wind and temperature made my hand feel like ice cold.
  7. Pants – 1st Layer ( may / may not needed )
    if it’s cold i would recommend to wear something warm as the inner.
  8. Pants – Cargo Pants
    Cargo pants that is water resistant will be good.
    I’ve found that they are easy to clean. Choose the one with ‘sealable’ pocket.
    This is to secure your things from dropping and to protect + keep it clean enough.
  9. Shocks
    I would suggest to bring 2 types for day and nite.
    Day – something sweat absorbing.
    Night – warmer type. I brought wool materials.
    keeping your feet warm is one of the key to keep your body heat.
  10. Flip Flops
    It will be good for tired feet and when you are resting.
  11. Shoes – Trail Run / Boots
    I would say choose your type wisely.
    In general, something waterproof will definitely better especially in a wetter condition. Really just based on my personal learning and experience :
  • Boots will be good for wet/ice environment, hard trail e.g. sandy/slippery,higher support for ankle.
  • Trail Run will be good for drier environment and a milder trail.
    for me, i went with trail run shoes and it was sufficient.
  • Boots will be heavier with longer time needed to get your feet used to it.
    and..honestly i don’t know when will i use it again.
    On the other hand, i could imagine to use trail run more.
    Invest in a good pair of shoes as your feet work very hard!
    I chose North Face brand and it was no joke. Loving it.
  1. Sunglasses
    Woops! nearly forgotten this one.
    Do Not forget it. I repeat : DO NOT FORGET IT.
    I would suggest you to wear something within UV category 3 or 4 and polarised glass.
    You will be in a high altitude, sun shines brighter somehow and it’s hard to open your eyes. As for the polarised type, it will help you to enjoy things as they are
    since with higher light intensity colours tend to fade away. Be careful though UV category 3 /4 is quite dark and might not be suitable for daily use e.g. while driving.

and..that’s about it for those that you will need to put on your body. Most of them could be reused for other occasions so it might be good to invest on these items.
I will write about other gears on later part especially those that assist the hiking and what to keep on your bag. 🙂

Wish you were there during all of the ruckus to gear up!

Cheers!
Triana Mustika Rukmi

Krakatau Hiking

“sebuah bangsa tidak akan kehilangan sosok pemimpin selama pemudanya sering bertualang di hutan,gunung, dan lautan.” 
― Henry Dunant

Inspired by the quotes above that i first listened to when i joined Indonesian Redcross, i decided to join a trip to Hike Krakatau in 2015 with these peeps! It was an open trip in which i could’t remember anymore where do i had the info from nor do i the complete pics. *sad* speaking of my clumsiness which crashed down the storage.. So here are some of the stories that i dig in from this lil’ brain of mine.

Open trip usually has couple of meeting points, before the port then we could go to the port using bus or you could always meet at the port itself. If you go from Jakarta, we should go to Merak Port. That was my first time i went there. Finally feeling the hustle at the port and experiencing a Ferry boat. oh my it took a long time to load all stuffs to the Ferry. bring somethings to pass time. Once it’s finished. Off we go to Bakauheni port. Fret not, the journey continues to a dock to reach the Sebesi island where our accomodation was located.

About Sebesi Island, guys… Signal + electricity was scarce back then. Hope it’s better this time so essentially you have the off time where you could linger and feel the sea breeze with its calming sound. Good detachment from the city hustle and bustle though i don’t know if i could stay for long. LOL.. sorry i am an internet addict. Anyway, i’ve survived.

Getting into the trip itself, i had several opportunities to snorkle though it wasn’t that great. The current was a bit too rough for me and i think i had a bit of sea sick.. But how could you not love the sea? as for the hikes.. well, it’s pretty mild for a beginner, go there with your own pace and you will be alright. If we could made it, you do too! I enjoyed the ride and hope you too..

wish you were there with us! Cheers! 😉