A trip to the Rolwaling Valley
How would it feel getting to see and feel the aura of the valley, alpine and tundra forests and get to know about local people and their way of lives? What if it is nothing as I expected it to be? What if it is exactly the same as I imagined?
It was a beautiful day. Me and two of my friends were in a restaurant at Lalitpur having our moments when we decided to trek to Rolwaling Valley and explore Tso Rolpa and Dudhkunda Lakes and soon, we were in a local bus, fully geared, filled with enthusiasm and looking forward to the majestic landscapes of Rolwaling Valley awaiting to be explored.
As soon as we stepped to the foothills of Rolwaling Valley and started climbing uphill, it began to rain heavily. It was as if the Valley was taking shower and getting ready to welcome us. Something mythical was happening above the clouds and something magical in front of my eyes. Among many others, I was asking two questions frequently to myself. How would it feel getting to see and feel the aura of the valley, alpine and tundra forests and get to know about local people and their way of lives? What if it is nothing as I expected it to be? What if it is exactly the same as I imagined? With all these queries we spent that night at Simigaun — a sherpa village with colorful houses and thatched roofs.
Next day, we continued our hike. Rolwaling Valley, after the rain, was looking like a perfectly dressed bride with jewelries of Rhododendron, air was fresh and the weather was clear. Overall, the valley was in its best. Mt Gaurishankar and other peaks were playing hide and seek amid clouds in the horizon. Higher you go, the easier it gets to hike as the valley gradually opens up. Besides lush green forest and mammoth rocky terrains, it is the river (I have never seen a river so blue) that will never miss your sight throughout the trail.
After you reach Beding and Nagaon, typical sherpa villages, you will get a real taste of Sherpa culture and their way of life. One thing that fascinated me was that there were only women and girls in the entire village. Later, I came to know that men are engaged in trekking business and often stay away from their families. Despite all the hardships and isolation, people were happy, welcoming with a never fading smile in their face.
After spending a night in Nagaon, we packed our bags, filled our bottles with water and began our trip to Dudhkunda and Tso Rolpa Lakes. We were barely talking, our shoulders were heavy and so were our steps and breaths. Afterall we were hiking at an altitude of almost 5000m above the sea level. Higher we climbed, the better the view was. At the end, it was all worth it.
Despite being explored by only a few visitors compared to other trekking routes in Nepal, the trail in the Rolwaling Valley was so well managed. Throughout the journey, I rarely came across plastics and other waste materials which are common in other trekking trails in the country. People there have built resting places, provided drinking water facilities and built dumping sites.
At the beginning, I was afraid that what if it is not everything I thought it would be? What if it is? And, Yes, I found the Valley, Lakes, vegetation and people more beautiful and breathtaking than I had imagined. I guess that was the best part of the journey. I now get to imagine new places and look forward to new journeys.