Roshan Bista prefers to travel on his bike. He believes that bikes offer the most intimate connection with people and landscape of the places he visits. For him, traveling is more than just going to new places, tasting new delicacies, and collecting new pictures for his Instagram feed. He expects to have a new bike adventure, make new friends, and learn from his experience every time he steps out of the house.
According to Bista, planning a trip to the remote areas of Nepal is expensive. So he usually compromises on watching a new movie at the theaters or having a Friday night out to save up money for the next trip he plans to take. “When I need to prioritize my options for entertainment, I make sure traveling is at the top of my list,” says Bista.
He has also been to numerous religious places in Nepal in his quest to understand people’s faith in religion. He finds it fascinating to see people dedicating an entire lifetime to worship something that may not be real at all. “It’s funny how the same place can be seen by different people from completely different perspectives,” he says.
In a conversation with him, we were able to get a glimpse into some of his most memorable trips. He also shared with us his bike adventures and struggles that we are sure many of our readers can relate to.
First trip with friends
When Bista was in the 10th standard, he told his parents that he was going on a school trip to Manakamana. However, he actually went to the Manakamana temple with only one of his friends. In the beginning, there was a large group of friends who had planned the trip together. “But like every other trip, many of my friends backed out and in the end only two of us were determined to go,” says Bista.
Reaching Manakamana temple was not difficult for the two. Their first cable car experience was also much more exciting than they thought it would be. Bista distinctly remembers trying to see the view through every window of the cable car and waving at other people from a distance.
However, since the trip was not preplanned they had not booked any return tickets. Every bus that they found was completely full. So they had to come to Kathmandu sitting on the roof of a bus. “Even today, my parents think that we had gone on a school trip. They have no idea how naughty I was when I was 16 years old,” says Bista.
The most memorable adventure
Bista recalls taking his bike out at four o’clock in the morning and heading to Pokhara to start his trek to Gosaikunda. Many had told him that the beautiful pond reflects Lord Shiva’s image and he wanted to see that for himself.
The bike ride from Pokhara to Dhunche Bazar was simply outstanding. Along the path, he saw numerous waterfalls and fresh flowing rivers. “Living in Kathmandu we do not even get to see tap water frequently. Seeing so many waterfalls in a single trip was a mesmerizing experience,” he says. It was at Dhunche Bazar that he and his friend left their bikes and started their trek to Gosaikunda. Their next destination before reaching Gosaikunda was Laurebina village where they would spend the night. Bista says this trek was one of the scariest treks of his life.
Two of them had already walked for about four hours and it was getting dark. They could not see any settlements nearby and the jungle looked dense and petrifying. When they asked a local about the place called Laurebina, the local said that they would reach their destination in half an hour. But the trek amidst the dark jungle never seemed to end. However, they managed to reach their destination after three hours of walk in the dark. “I remember after walking for two hours in the dark, I was in the verge of giving up. But it was my friend who encouraged me to keep walking,” says Bista.
The next morning they saw the beautiful Himalayan range from Laurebina, had a heavy breakfast with local mushroom, tea, and roti and started their trek to Gosaikunda. After reaching the beautiful Gosaikunda Lake, Bista realized that what most people called the Lord Shiva was just a reflection of the huge rocks. Nevertheless, the place was mesmerizing and its beauty, says Bista, has not been captured on any photos we see of the place. The two friends spent a few hours there. Reluctant to spend the night near Gosaikunda due to the altitude and the subsequent lack of oxygen, they came down to Laurebina.
At night, Bista noticed how a few women in the small house that they were staying at were watching a Nepali movie on a phone. “I’m sure half of them could not see the full movie because their mobile screen was extremely small. Yet all of them looked so amused and excited,” says Bista. That incident made him realize that happiness needn’t be about accomplishing big things. It’s the little things in life that one should try to enjoy and be grateful for.
An important lesson
According to Bista, each trip teaches him something new. The practical problems that he faces during his journeys become lessons of a lifetime. Bista took a trip with his friends to Muktinath right after their exam. “We did not even change our college uniform. We simply rode towards the highway,” says Bista.
They first reached Pokhara after which they were supposed to reach Beni. They had not done enough research about the routes so instead of going directly to Beni they took the longer route through Baglung. This way, the trip took four to five hours more than it was supposed to.
“That made me realize that every trip should be pre-planned. We should at least do a research on the place we are going before starting any trip,” he says. On their way to Muktinath, they also had a problem with their bike. Had it not been for a local who helped them for more than two hours to fix the bike, they would have been stuck in the middle of nowhere at least for two days. That incident made him realize the importance of helping others. From that day onwards, he says, he has sort of taken an oath to help those in need. The incident also taught him the value of kindness and now he makes an effort to be kind to others.