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Upper Mustang Trek: Day 2

After fact of caffeine overdose, make me stay awake for quite some time during the midnight, and not manage to sleep that well later on. However, the excitement on the trek today make me stayed energize hence my condition should be fine to continue the distance today. We have a short exploration around the hotel area, and make it to the roof top to enjoy, once again the view of magnificent Nilgiri Himal peak in the morning. After having our breakfast, we first depart over to tourist check point in Kagbeni to obtain our restricted area permit (RAP) to enter Forbidden Kingdom of Upper Mustang. As per finalized itinerary plan with Dipendra, Kumar help to apply 11 days of RAP for each of us, with scary amount of 50 USD per day, total of 550 USD per person, just only for the permit!

Good morning Nilgiri Himal!

Fabian filming time lapse on the peak.

Simple muesli breakfast to boost up my day.

Out of nowhere, they appeared.

I try to count, but immediately I lost track.

We stop by the tourist check-post to get our Restricted Area Permit for Upper Mustang.

Only 27 Malaysian was here throughout year 2016.

A horse on the street.

Funny sheep, he retreat itself when we walk closer and accidentally reaching top of stair and have no place to go.

What it do next? Avoid eye contact and stand still there.

Say goodbye to Nilgiri Himal for now.

Done all the process and documentation, we continue our walk, passing through Cafe Applebee's again and exit from Kagbeni through that path. Challenging morning with a immediate hike straight after the exit, but luckily it was not too steep. And WOW, the view from Kagbeni town from this spot after the hike was really iconic and beautiful! It was just the start of the day, but I really did spend quite some time to snap lots of photo here, it was just so stunning!

Signboard indicate you are entering restricted area of Upper Mustang.

Fabian step over his first step into Upper Mustang.

Exploration of Upper Mustang start here.

Small hike immediately after the exit.

Farms outside of Kagbeni.

Our porters were extremely fast.

OMG, this view was so iconic!

Me and Kagbeni town.

Buddha and Kagbeni town.

This scenery really boost up my spirit for the trek today!

Then distance afterward were similar to the day 1 trek which was along motorize path, until we came across a huge farm to the left side of the road. I went closer to it and manage to know that it was land area for Tangbe Apple Farm, which probably still a very new farm, as all the trees planted wasn't mature yet to produce apples. After passing through the farm, we start to descend through a very steep trail, which was quite challenging with the load that carry on our back. Furthermore, out of nowhere a very strong wind hitting us from the valley, and we have to really stand still and lower down our body to prevent the fall by it. The wind came over occasionally like a rhythm, hence we keep on our pace to move down slowly, while stopping when sense the incoming wind again. Luckily, all of us manage to descend safely without anyone felt down, kudos to all!

Walk along motorize road.

Samantha and the Kali Gandaki river bank towards Kagbeni.

The gift from the nature.

The mountain shaping was so unique.

Mandy and the Kali Gandaki river bank towards Kagbeni.

Obey my order or eat my punch!

Tiri village at the opposite side of Kali Gandaki river bank.

Wild life area, I wonder what kind of animal will be there inside.

Kumar, Buddha, and Ramzee taking a rest while waiting for us.

Mandy continue with the journey.

The view from the river bank.

Saw the black dots scattered on the steep cliff in the photo? Those were goats looking for grasses to eat.

Another upcoming elevation awaiting us.

Not too steep, but not easy at all when you were at high altitude place.

You want some water?

I feel like I could touch the sky from here.

Samantha and Fabian on the trail.

Getting flatter after the hike, let's get some rest.

The sky feel so near from here.

What can you see from Fabian's sunglasses?

Mandy and Kumar also reached, kudos!

Team continue the trek after minor rest here.

The apple farm, but the trees still very young.

Cute little kid that run towards us from the house just to smile and say hi to us!

Village of Tangbe at the opposite side of the hill.

Time to descend down hill now.

Photo don't make the justice, but the wind was so strong when we descend down through very steep trail.

Off road trail going down.

We make it through the steep trail safely, kudos to all!

The shape of the rock pillars become weirder from time to time.

The steep trail along make all of us exhausted, hence decided to grab our early lunch at the next village, Tangbe. We manage to find a place for lunch via Hotel Alisha, and it was so good to take a break to rest our self. Elevation wasn't that extreme yet so far, but we already felt the toughness that we will be facing all the way along. It was a good call to have a break early here, as another round of strong wind hitting the area while we waiting for our lunch, if we were to continue our trek earlier in this situation, it will be extremely tough for us. The food was just below average, but it was still a good reload of energy for us!

A herd of yaks we encounter close to Tangbe.

They also felt the impact from the strong wind coming from the valley!

Dining hall inside Hotel Alisha.

The view from the entrance of Hotel Alisha.

Sneak peek into their kitchen.

Energy reloaded, time to move on.

After taking some rest and wave goodbye to the owner, we continue our walk once again. We still walking along Kali Gandaki river bank but I can see that there was more and more unusual pillars of rock, which wasn't look solid at all, and seem to be mixture of clay, stones, and sand. We able to see at one of the corner during the trek, an absolute iconic view of Chhusang town, and also Chele village, which was our destination for the day. At the opposite side of the river bank, we can see a lot of man make like caves, and after checking against my map, it was the area of Nyingma Monastery. The side trip required us to went pass Kali Gandaki river which will make us all wet in order to reach the area, hence we decided to call it an off, and continue our journey to Cchhusang. Since we already taken our lunch at Tangbe, we technically just walking through the town, but we did it slowly hence at least we can explore a little bit of it before leaving straightly.

We can still felt the presence of autumn at the farms of Tangbe village.

Thanks for the lunch, goodbye for now beautiful Tangbe!

Distance wise not too far from the destination today, keep your feet moving guys!

Mandy with the viewpoint of both Cchhusang and Chele village.

Me with the viewpoint of both Cchhusang and Chele village.

What you see from Samantha's sunglasses this time?

Cchhusang was the village on the river bank, and Chele was the small village on the higher ground at the very far.

These pillars of rocks, weird yet so beautiful.

It looked so fragile when seeing it up close.

It might looked small from far, but in fact they were huge!

Natural pillars or man made? What do you think?

Mandy and Samantha walked slowly to enjoy these magnificent view of weird looking rocks.

Getting closer to Cchhusang now.

Nyingma Monastery, so near yet so far.

Natural crafting of arts.

Ramzee and Buddha resting for a while, it was not an easy job.

Colorful rocks, just like it was painted by purpose!

Nyingma Monastery and countless man made caves that clearly can be seen all over the mountain.

Entering Cchusang village now.

That was a lot of corns!

Mani stone and creepy goat horns.

Mature apple trees with lots of reddish apples!

Narrow walking street in Cchhusang.

The map of Cchhusang village.

Fabian with the Stupa in Cchhusang.

One of many Mani stones in the village.

How on earth this crafting happened naturally?

The view towards Tetang village.

Out from Cchhusang, we can already see Chele village, which was standing high up at around 3000 Meters above sea level. It seem not too far, but we understand there will be another tough climb awaiting us. We started the climb after passing through a hanging bridge, and a step by a step, we slowly moving up the steep trail. As you continue to climb higher, the view toward the valley with Kali Gandaki river from high was another great photo opportunity, with Cchhusang town within the framing as well. Probably after 30 minutes of hard work, finally I manage to see the side entrance to Chele village. We take a rest on a staircase inside the village while waiting for everyone to reach safely as a team before check in into our accommodation tonight, Hotel Mustang Gate. Glad everyone make it safely!

There was some minor argument during pre-dinner time, when Kumar review the itinerary once again and discover that our 11 days permit not able to cover the expedition completely until we left Upper Mustang. In addition to that, we might need to pay additional day of penalty when we get our-self back to Kagbeni later on. Since we were quite confident with our initial plan, hence we confront Kumar for open discussion, and manage to understand it was because he wrongly fill in the date information, as he included the first day when we trek from Jomsom to Kagbeni, which that distance not requiring special RAP for Upper Mustang. He then felt sorry about the mistaken, and have a calibration with Dipendra that his company will cover that penalty payment. Glad that alignment was there, and after dinner it was time for a good night rest as tomorrow seem to be a huge challenge.

The distance covered today was 15 KM.

Chele village was high up on the mountain there.

Rock fall area, be careful!

Passing yet another hanging bridge.

Fabian passing the bridge.

Samantha passing the bridge.

Mandy passing the bridge.

Unexpectedly, there was also these caves here as well. I wonder where was the entrance.

Taking yet another minor rest before final ascend of the day.

Ramzee leading the way.

Almost there, keep the comfort pace and taking one step a time.

The gorgeous Kali Gandaki river bank and beautiful valley on the way up to Chele village.

Finally, we reached the village entrance to Chele!

Ramzee and Buddha with friends congrats us for the job well done for the day!

Taking a rest and have a hot drinks to warm down our bodies.

Our rooms, its condition even better than the one we stayed in Kagbeni.

Hot water machine! We knew we will going to have a heavenly shower later on!

Doing nothing but staring at the view can be so much fun as well.

Minor argument, but I am glad it got sorted out peacefully.

Chele - Nepal

November 2018

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