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Upper Mustang Trek: Day 1

We get to meet our porters here in Jomsom airport, Ramzee and Buddha and start to walk just a little to the main street to have quick breakfast and coffee at Hotel Majesty before we start our trek. Little insight into our guides and porters, first impression with Kumar was friendly and easy going, Ramzee looked cool a little but speak well in English and he worked in Butterworth before in a factory just close to where Fabian work, lastly Buddha, with smile always on his face and looked happy all the time but speak limited English. We got to interact a little bit more with them during the breakfast, which of course great thing to do as we will going to be stick together for almost 2 weeks. I personally don't like the business relationship, but rather more to friendship interaction along the way.

The town of Jomsom.

Why everyone bringing out their camera?

OMG this framing of Nilgiri Himal peak was just too perfect!

Our trekking group first photo together, me, Samantha, Fabian, and Mandy.

OK, times for some breakfast.

What Fabian was busy at again?

It was Nilgiri Himal peak once again, no doubt, it was just so beautiful!

The peak stand high at around 7000 Meters above sea level.

Ready, get set, go! This mark the beginning of our Upper Mustang trekking adventure!

Jomsom was a small village which was quite similar to those in Ladakh region, but seem to be more structured and the people were having a better living standard. We start the trek after the breakfast, and along the way for a very long time, I will just stop and turn around my head, just because the view on Nilgiri Himal, it was just too beautiful and clear along the trek! After leaving Jomsom, we continue the walk along riverbank surrounded with beautiful view, but the down part about the trail was it was a share lane with motorize transport such as 4WD jeep, hence it was very dusty when one of these jeep passes by, although not many of them in actual.

The aeroplane running track at Jomsom Airport, and the beautiful peak.

I snapped their photo, and they politely tell me 'Photo not allowed'. Well, I said sorry but I kept it as memory. :P

Hanging bridge built to go to another side of the town.

Another natural framing for the view.

Seriously, I don't get tired of this magnificent view at all.

The peak and Kali Gandaki river.

Well, left or right?

Local fresh apple, it was very delicious.

Absolutely true, WAR IS NO SOLUTION.

Passing yet another wooden bridge.

The Kali Gandaki river.

Hey doggy, was that goat leg you are biting there?

It ignore my question, but I guess it busy finding a good spot to enjoy its meal.

Passing by a narrow walkway in between houses.

Kids from the children home.

Me with those cute kiddos!

Leaving Jomsom town by now, and the wilderness was waiting for us.

Few houses at the opposite of the river bank.

Ramzee leading the way.

Follow by Samantha, Fabian, and Buddha.

Kumar escorting Mandy at the back.

Helicopter pass by from the valley.

The view back towards Jomsom.

Travel by mountain bike was also a great option to explore the region.

Passing a road with two huge walls on each of the side.

Jomsom was out of our sight from now onward.

A motor-able road built high up to go pass the river.

Another peak far into the mountain range.

The only tree stand strong on the river bank.

Mountain with natural colors.

The familiar peak, accompanying us all the way during our day 1 trekking.

Great weather to start our adventure.

It was a short walk today hence we keep our pace slow as a warm up period for the long upcoming trek journey, anyhow it was above 2700 Meters above sea level from now onward. Getting our body to get use to the elevation was the most important thing to do during our day 1 trek. After passing through a hanging bridge, we walk down to the river bank and walk along it towards another small village, Ekle Bhatti to have a minor rest. Initial plan was to have breakfast here, but since it was still quite early but destination for the day wasn't too far ahead, hence we decide to hit Kagbeni straight instead.

The hanging bridge that lead to the way Pangling village.

The bridge itself was probably around 100 Meters long.

Walking along the river bank.

Welcome to Ekle Bhatti village.

Lets have some rest and chit chat.

Huge Mani stone with colorful writing.

That seem to be our destination of the day.

Hi Kagbeni!

Group photo with Kagbeni.

The autumn color was still beautiful here in Kagbeni.

Huge farms that we walk through before reaching Kagbeni center.

The peak, the valley, the river, the farms, the color of autumn, all in one shot.

Entering Kagbeni town.

After nearly 11 KM of walk, we manage to complete the distance for the day in around 3 hours, and here we are in Kagbeni! Immediate compare to Jomsom, this was a rather huge town with a lot of accommodation that you can choose from. Our stay of the day, Hotel Nilgiri View was directly on the entrance to the town, and I am so bless the structure was having great cold and wind resistance, offering good food, and the room was with actual bed! This was such a heaven! Well, probably just because I am comparing it to the camping experience during our Chadar Trek early of the year.

Entrance to Hotel Nilgiri View.

Samantha reach the finishing line!

Mandy arrived as well!

Daughter of the Hotel Nilgiri View study quietly at the dining hall.

We spend some quality time chit chat at the dining hall while waiting for our lunch.

Local curry with rice, yummy!

Can't recall what soup we ordered, but we for sure appreciate any hot soup available to warm us up.

After the lunch, since we have quite some time before the day turns to night, we decided to wander a little bit in Kagbeni town. We first explore the Kagbeni Temple, which again offering great view on the superb Nilgiri Himal peak. One thing not to be missed here, was to find the two very unique statue, male ghost eater that guarding the north gate with an extraordinary male genital, and female ghost eater with large orange nipple breasts, guarding the south. Where can you find those? Well, Kagbeni was not too huge after all, have a walk around and I am pretty sure you won't miss it! Last but not least, do ensure you pay yourself a relaxing visit to Applebee Cafe which located at the very north of the town. This place do serve probably the best and only gourmet coffee in whole Upper Mustang. Combining it with the extraordinary view on the Kali Gandaki river and the valley, it make the moment just perfect! Do not miss it, you will for sure enjoy your drink and dessert very much here.

It will be start of long walk the next day, we went to bed early after having our dinner comfortably in the hotel. Probably too excited and too comfortable, it was rather hard for me to get into deep sleep. I order a hot coffee drink although I not really feel that freezing this time, but still a hot drink in a cold weather was beyond words can describe. I am glad that after the coffee, I start to feel the sleepiness and successfully call it a day.

Passing through one of the stupa in Kagbeni.

One of the walkway around the town.

The Kagbeni Temple.

Beautiful Mani stone with Buddha crafting on it.

After 11KM of walk from Jomsom, the Nilgiri Himal peak still visible here from Kagbeni.

The prayer flags and Nilgiri Himal peak.

Samantha and the view.

The color of Fabian's jacket match the wall so much!

This tree was very photogenic.

Cute little kid on the street.

Another random walkway inside the town.

The Ghost Eater statue, the gender can be identified very easily.

The prayer wheel on the street.

Found an interesting cafe, Cafe Applebee's.

Outside seat of the cafe.

The view deep into the valley from the cafe.

Flowers planted by the cafe's owner.

The small exit there marks the entry into restricted area of Upper Mustang, which required special permit to enter.

Cake from Cafe Applebee's, very nice!

The seats inside the cafe.

Barista busy preparing our drinks.

I know it was very cold out there, but I just can't resist this superb chocolate milk shake!

The team with the Cafe Applebee's, we will be back!

We manage to identify the male Ghost Eater earlier, hence definitely this was the female one.

Beautiful view during a random walk around the town.

Apple tree!

Yac Donalds Restaurant, was it part of McD franchise here in Kagbeni?

Simple room, but we did have all we need here for a good night sleep.

With our guide, Kumar on the hotel corridor.

Time to choose my meal for the dinner.

Hotel corridor, towards the end of it was the shared bathroom.

The view from our room's window.

Kagbeni - Nepal

November 2018

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