Travelling has always been a learning experience for me. Though people love to go for popular treks like the Annapurna base camp (ABC) and the Everest base camp (EBC), they rarely opt for a trek to remote places of Nepal. Since many tourists visit places like ABC every year, the trails are well developed and proper accommodation is not hard to find. However, rural places of Nepal that do not have proper tourist flow remain underdeveloped.
In April 2014, I visited one such place: the Mugu district in Nepal. The purpose of my visit was a trek to the Rara Lake. We started our trek from a place called Bajura. After a day’s walk, we reached Kolti where we stayed overnight. The next day we started our trek early morning from Kolti. It was almost midday by the time we reached the trail alongside the Karnali river. We had to trek on barren, dry land with only a tree two kilometers away. Resting under the tree after a long walk under the heat gave so much comfort at that moment. After hours of walking, we had finally spotted a small hut to rest for lunch. The lunch served at that place made me realize the privileges we have in the city area in terms of the quality and taste of food.
As we moved on with our journey, the drinking water bottles that we had carried started to be empty as the heat made us very thirsty. With very few human settlements along the way, drinking water was not easily available. The thirst compelled us to drink the sandy water directly from the river. We were so dehydrated that we were not able to wait to get the water treated with piyush. This experience made us realize the importance of water since every drop of it gave so much satisfaction while walking in the heat and dry land though we would have never thought of drinking that water back in Kathmandu.
As we continued with our journey, we had to pass through a dangerous yet adventurous trail. One of the trails we had to pass through was such that there was a huge rock on one side and the Karnali River on the other side and the trail could accommodate only a foot. If one goes off balance you fall straight into the river. The entire rock climbing experience was a unique adventure in itself. Finally, we reached our stop for the day in the village called Ratapani.
‘The next day we headed towards Rara Lake early morning from Ratapani. As we were approaching the lake, the entire landscape had completely changed. From dry lands with hot climate we reached a place with cool temperate weather. The entire area was covered with lush green forest and clean spring water flowing directly up from the Himalayas. The air was so fresh and the greenery was mesmerizing. Since the place was untouched with hardly any tourist using that trail, it was what I would describe nature at its best. As we reached the lake, we simply went “wow”. The serenity and attractiveness of the lake was extremely awesome. Spending two days near the untouched Rara Lake area was a self-rejuvenating experience for me.
My overall experience of this trip made me realize the importance of nature and what it has to offer. Though the entire trail was a really difficult one, the scenic beauty of Rara Lake made the trek worth the trouble. The changing landscape from dry land to dense forest shows the diverse landscape of Nepal and the beauty of the country. Meanwhile the journey made me learn the significance of basic elements of nature including water and trees in our lives and how we fail to acknowledge their importance. Visiting places beyond the comfort of city life once in a while makes us realize the privileges that we have and at the same time appreciate nature.