Nights, we slept in so called tea house somewhere in NOSHYAMPATI (3700m) as the wind whistled outside. The room was furnished with wooden bunk platforms for some 20 people. We are lucky that night, that we found an unoccupied bunk. Food was so horrible even our hungry stomach say no to this. The toilets were literally over flowing with dirt. People prefer often open ground, wherever the urge struck. Only one tea house was opened during November and we didn’t had any choices in that coldest temperature. Can’t sleep whole night due to weather and lack of additional blankets. At 5:00 AM, we left our bed for sunrise, though lots of trekkers meditated inside there blankets.

Every time is tea time in Nepal. Started our first day trek from village called DEURALI (an hour drive from BHOTANG) after having black tea. BHOTANG is the social and commercial hub before PANCH POKHARI. We all trekked at our own pace, pausing often for refreshment at trailside teahouses and to chat with passersby. Most of the time I have been trekking with a group of complete strangers. No less but sometimes I had also been undertaken with one or two trusted friends, or alone. In trekking have confidence in your teammates is no small concern. One trekker’s actions can affect the welfare of the entire team.

Delicious foods was waiting for us at TUPI DANDA. Here we had rice, lentil, and mushroom potatoes mix vegetables and pickle. Clicked pictures, selfie and uploaded to social media platforms. After our lunch we resumed the trek toward NOSHYAMPATI. The trail took us past glades of Junifer and dwarf birch, pine trees, thundering waterfalls and lakes.

“Only 10 minutes more” was readymade reply whenever and wherever you asked “How far is the next destination?” After so many 10 minutes we reached NOSHYAMPATI.  This was the place where we rested that day.

Next day we continued our trek towards PANCH POKHARI (4100m) from NOSHYAMPATI. From NOSHYAMPATI, paths were filled with rocks, and many stairs before LAURI BINA (without a stick). There are myths that one should leave their stick in LAURI BINA. But nobody cared to do so. The last rocky dangerous stairs lead us towards the beautiful PANCH POKHARI (5 holy Ponds). PANCH POKHARI is not only naturally beautiful but also the ninth highest altitude wetland in the World. PANCH POKHARI is named as because there are a total of 5 divine ponds in the SINDHUPALCHOWK district of Nepal. PANCH POKHARI is popular destination during Janai Purnima (one of the festivals of Nepal) in the month of August among Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims.

Exploring few hours in this comparatively less explored region of trekking despite the spectacular scenic wonders. There is also a saying that, taking a bath in these scared ponds, it will wash away bad karma and remove impurities from our past. Whether it was real or myth, but few of us undress and jumped into the pond and worship the god of the god “Mahadev”. Jay Sambho. After having lunch we headed back to NOSHYAMPATI. Evenings were peaceful. Less people than yesterday. Not to mention dinner here but we slept good 8 hours. Few of our teammates was outside the tea house. Counting stars.

Woke up earlier in the morning to see the sunrise. One boy got us black tea. Having 3-4 cups of black tea with biscuits, we trek down hills towards BHOTANG, where we parked our jeep.

Last but not least “The fastest way to make a friend for life is to travel with a STRANGER.”

Travel experiences based on November 2020 Panch Pokhari Trekking