Archive for the Asia guesthouse Category

The 山贼 (desert bandit) emerges (AC Day 10)

Posted in Annapurna Circuit, Asia guesthouse, Kagbeni, Muktinath, professional tourist in the making on June 17, 2014 by twotwoeight

Day 10 — Destination : Kagbeni, 3050m

What a good night’s sleep! 🙂  Woke up at 7am which was by far the latest since we have started trekking.  Had a leisurely Swiss breakfast with the best rosti I have ever tasted! Wow, food in Muktinath is really good!  After breakfast, we set off at about 9am for Kagbeni.

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The view as we left Muktinath.

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As we left Muktinath, we caught a glimpse of the Annapurna range and the Thorong-La Pass in front of us.

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The walk started off very relaxing as we were coursing through smaller towns like Chongor and Tzong.  We were walking rather slowly as we were busy taking photographs of the gorgeous landscapes.

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As we trekked further, the landscape began to change.

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We were still at a fairly high altitude at about 3800m and it was miraculous to be walking and seeing the mountain peaks at eye level.

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Green crop fields began to dot the landscape.

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We met a couple of local women bringing their infants to the next town for immunization.  They had walked for hours and still had many more hours of travel before their destination.

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After awhile, the land started to get more barren and dry.

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We reached Tzong and walked up to a local monastery which was located at the top of a hill where the ruins of the former Jhong fortress still stands proudly.  Gorgeous view of the mountain range from here.

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We stopped for an early lunch at the guest house here as the walk after Tzong would be a long one with no stops or guest houses in between.

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We coursed through desert-looking landscape for the next 3 plus hours.  As we were passing through the Kali Gandaki valley, the winds were so incredibly strong that it took effort not to be blown away!  Sometimes, the gust of wind was so strong that it created dust-storms that rushed towards you head-on with a howl and you had to quickly turn your back on it and crouch down until it blew over.

desert bandit

Hence, the 山贼 (desert bandit) look.  PW and I thought we looked ridiculous but this was the only way to get protection from the wind, the sand and the sun!!! This was pretty much how we looked like most of the day! 😉

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Dev and Mr.Limbu managed to find a caveman looking rest stop along the way where we took some respite from the wind and gave our aching feet a rest.  And of course, they brought out chocolates. 😉

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The road seemed like it would never end…and it was pretty hard persuading yourself that the destination was just around the corner when the road seemed like it would go on forever.

Kagbeni

Thankfully, it came to and end and we finally reached Kagbeni thanks to Dev and Mr.Limbu guiding us down many ‘shortcuts’ (which was more like shuffling/sliding down gravel hills).  Otherwise, we would probably have taken much longer!

guesthouse in Kagbeni

Got our rooms in Asia guesthouse and immediately made a beeline for the dining room.  We were famished!! Had Illy coffee and popcorn (which was listed under the chicken menu but it turned out to be normal popcorn!) while waiting for our tuna vegetable moussaka.  Very fulfilling lunch/tea!!

Kagbeni town

We went for a walk around Kagbeni after that.  Kagbeni is a very picturesque town with a very medieval feel.  The town is connected by a series of tunnels lined by low mud houses and some of the ruins of the former fortress still stand.  At the same time, bits of modernization can also be seen, catering to the tourists and trekkers and the brightly coloured Yakdonald’s is a good example!!

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There is a very famous statue which is an old protector of Kagbeni.  It is called ‘Mr.Viagra man’ by some, and the reason is clear!  It is supposedly put there to ward off bad spirits.  We read that there was also a woman counterpart of Mr.Viagra man, and Dev and Mr.Limbu humoured us by looking around the whole town for it, and when we failed to locate it, they even asked the locals.  Well, it turns out that “she” was destroyed during a recent spell of bad weather, and they were going to rebuild “her” soon. 😉

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Kagbeni is also the starting point of the Upper Mustang trail which is a very highly sought after destination due to its completely different landscape and culture from the Himalayas.

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View of the Upper Mustang area from the edge of Kagbeni.  Maybe someday I will be back.

After the walk, it was starting to get dark and cold so we made our way back to the guesthouse.  We skipped dinner as we were still full from the moussaka and ordered a pot of tea to warm ourselves.  We sat in the dining area and chatted with Dev about tomorrow’s plans, and then we went up to bed at 8.30pm.  It was still chilly but we were too lazy to dig out our sleeping bags and so with chattering teeth, we called it a day.

Shuvaprabhat 🙂

 

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