This story could be the beginning of a horror movie; walking into a strange, Nepalese goat herder’s basement during a day trek from Shivalaya to Bandar is never a good idea.

This is the second entry in a series I am doing about a trek to Everest Base Camp. This is the story of the second day of our trek and I will recap the Shivalaya to Bandar portion.

These posts are taken from a diary I kept during my time on my trek, they were never meant to be published but I decided to share. If you missed the first article about how I almost died on the bus from Kathmandu to Shivalaya then check that out if you like. Or don’t, and start fresh from here!

Day 2: Shivalaya to Bandar

We left Shivalaya at 9:30am and would arrive in Bandar at 4:45pm; 7.25 hours total trekking. It was meant to be 4 hours. This would be our first actual day of trekking to Everest Base Camp without a guide.

Full of energy and good spirits, we headed out bright and early. Immediately we began uphill. There was a small gate when leaving Shivalaya with a man demanding money. He wanted 2000 Rupees for a permit. We had already gotten all of our permits in Kathmandu, and assumed it was a scam. He became distracted for a minute and we grabbed two cards when he wasn’t looking and continued on without paying.

Leaving Shivalaya

We had walked for about 4 hours. Following a zigzagging foot path through the greenery around us. We passed a group of men building a wall, they yelled “wrong way” but were laughing so we thought they were trying to mess with us. Looking back now, these men clearly knew the way from Shivalaya to Bandar and we should have listened to them.

We continued on past a woman smearing feces on the ground. She then climbed onto her roof and we gave her banana (as seen in the featured image at the top of the post). It made her day.

Shivalaya to Bandar

After another hour and a half of trekking, we heard a man yelling in the distance. A goat herder came running towards us screaming “cheese factory!” We had heard of a cheese factory in the area but it was said to be 2 hours off course. How were we at the cheese factory all of a sudden?

At this point, we knew we had taken a wrong turn somewhere. We decided to follow him in hopes that he could get us back on track.

Should we go into the Basement?

We walked down a trail and through a gate onto his property. This was no cheese factory. This was a beat-up house in the middle of the Himalayas.

He was desperate and begging, and we couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. At the same time though, he was refusing to tell us how to get back on track and time was ticking. He was trying to lure us into his basement were his cheese factory supposedly was.

We cautiously moved towards his basement. His house was a large wooden structure that had been pieced together many years before, and was in a state of disrepair. It was surrounded by mud, dirt and animal waste.

The whole scene wasn’t cool. We asked over and over how to get to from Shivalaya to Bandar, but he would not say. He was insistent that we go into his basement. He held a small piece of cheese in his hand as if trying to lure a mouse into a trap.

Shivalaya to Bandar

I don’t know if it was pity or fear, but we stayed a few minutes longer then we should have. He was getting more aggressive and started asking for money to be our guide. It was time to get the hell out of there.

The Escape from the “Cheese Factory”

We started to make our exit and he tried to block our way. Pulling at our arms and saying we were going in the wrong direction. It was time to get our point across and I shoved him down and said to get out of the way. He was a bit older, and tiny in stature, and this was the motivation he needed to back down. We started back the way we came.

We walked for about 5 minutes, just enough time to be clear of him and his horror movie farm, then stopped to check out the map and see where we were.

As we stood trying to decipher the map, a small girl approached us. She was yielding a 10″ dagger and had blood pouring from her nose.

We stood for a minute in shock when all over the sudden the man we had just escaped from came running towards us full speed yelling at the girl to get away and yelling at us to come back.

The girl ran off, as did we. We headed back the way we came, past the workers that had told us we were going the wrong way.

We tried to sneak by them on our walk of shame but they saw us and started laughed and calling us stupid. We should have listened to their advice about getting from Shivalaya to Bandar.

Buying Yak Cheese in the Village of Deurali

We were now back on track and were walking through the village of Deurali. This tiny village had about 7 buildings and was picture perfect. This was when the rain started. We took refuge in the kitchen of a local woman, and I proceeded to buy a half kilo of yak cheese from her for about $5.

We chilled out; eating cheese and crackers with her while waiting for the rain to stop; it didn’t. It was getting late and we were far behind schedule, so it was time to get a move on. We left and walked in the rain; slipping and sliding our way towards Bandar.

Completing the Trek from Shivalaya to Bandar

We reached the tiny village of Bandar and settled into our guesthouse. It had a price of 50 rupees for the night; split 2 ways this is about 33 cents each. Not a bad deal. There was no power so we read books by headlamp. Our 2nd day was over and we had completed the trek from Shivalaya to Bandar.

This is the second in a series I will be posting from time to time about my trek to Everest Base Camp. If you would like to follow along please subscribe to receive updated posts right to you email. 

Have you done this trek or have any questions about it? Let me know by leaving a comment below! 

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