Sunday, 25 December 2011

There ain't no force, no master plan

Day 11: Muktinath - Chonguri - Jhong - Putak - Kagbeni (about 12 km)
Many people finish their trek in Muktinath. They take jeep or bus to Jomsom and fly out from there. We were planning to reach Jomson by foot and take bus to Tatopani. Yes, Tatopani. Cause although we were planning to do Annapurna Circuit during this trip to Nepal we’ve revised plans and decided that we have enough time to do Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) too.
But as usually we did not follow even the revised plan. Our friends from North America convinced us that it’s worth seeing Kagbeni (2840m) and Marpha (2680m), so we followed them. We were not sure if we’ll reach Jomsom or Kagbeni as after yesterday’s early start we took too much time today’s morning and were able to set off only at 9.30.
The day was fun, we took alternate path via Tibetan villages of Chonguri, Jhong and Putak and we could see Thorung La. It seemed so small, and low, and completely disrespectful between those two huge mountains. Not that impressive as it felt yesterday when we were there.
After Putak we were walking along dusty road in the moonlike scenery. Finally after 1,5h we got to Kagbeni, but first we had to pass very steep, narrow and rocky path between two huge rocks. It was definitely not something that you want to do with big back pushing you down.
Of course we made it and stopped in Shangrila Hotel for lat lunch and in the end we’ve stayed there for the night. As I’ve said we were very flexible and our plans were changing rather rapidly.
Initially with Doris and Jacek we’ve planned to get tomorrow to Jomsom or even Tatopani if possible but as mentioned earlier we’ve landed in Marpha as in the lodge we’ve met British woman with kids and Nepali partner. They are running NGO project (FirstStepsHimalaya) to support preschool education. He is a guide and was telling a lot about Marpha and that it’s a must see when you do this side of the Circuit.
Bob Marley Hotel

Chonguri. I liked the colors of houses

View over Muktinath

View over the pass. It looks so unimpressive

Village of Putak


Chocolate bar and cookies break

Next day we were walking along this river and sometimes even in the river

This is the place where we had this steep and narrow descent

This is what we saw when we entered Kagbeni. In fact there was no unambiguous information if we are allowed to take alternate route without special permission or not. In some sources it was stated that it's already in the Mustang part and as Mustang requires permission we should have one, but in the others we read that as long as we don't cross the river we don't need it. We did not have anything and we saw this notice board. But noone was asking anything.

Erection man in Kagbeni


Sadistic kids are everywhere

Day 12: Kagbeni - Jomsom - Marpha
If it’s a must than go! We went to Marpha – Nepali Apple Capital.
We were walking along the river (sometimes in the river itself and next we had to climb up the steep and loose bank of the river), got lunch in Jomsom (Dal Bhat) and got to Marpha which does not look like Nepal at all. It’s clean, it’s got traditional narrow paved alleyways and passages and an extensive drainage system that flows under flagstone-paved streets. It was more like some tiny Greek or Spanish town than Nepali village which are quite often covered with rubbish as people don’t care at all. They throw rubbish at the path or at the floor and don’t bother.
Road from Jomsom was ugly. It was soooo windy and what’s more it was blowing exactly into our faces. Additionally each car passing us was raising huge cloud of dust so now i’m completely dusty and wish to have hot shower in Marpha, where we were staying in Neeru GH, as the guide from yesterday was so nice to book rooms for us there.
When we were leaving Shangri La Hotel she put those scarfs around our necks. It's supposed to bring us luck.

What about a swim?

In the river, on the way to Jomsom

This horse was in the mud up to its knees

Way between Jomsom and Marpha

Marpha - Apple Capital of Nepal

Do you want a sip?

Panorama from the temple in  Marpha


Najlepszy lokal w miescie? Maybe. Cider was delicious, but chocolate cake that was recommended us here could not be compared to the one in Yak Kharka

Dinned in Neeru GH

Chicken sizzler

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