Upper Mustang Trek
In August 2023, I had the opportunity to do the Upper Mustang trek with two girls and two guides (we were two groups that merged together). This journey definitely marked my time in Nepal by the beauty and power of nature, the enriching facts and stories we heard from Guide about the daily lives of people in the villages and mostly by the wonderful atmosphere that Guide made sure was present during the entire 12 days. In fact, he has a way of making you feel at ease to ask questions, very comfortable and safe wherever you might be. Truly grateful for his care and support 24/7 during this trek.
We started day 1 from Pokhara and made our way by Jeep to Kagbeni, through Jomsom. Then, on days 2,3 and 4, we walked a lot, through Chele, Ghami and finally to Lo manthang, trekking over 20 km per day. Even with the non-negligeable challenge of the significant altitude, the physical effort did not disturb us because we were singing, chatting and laughing with Guide, discovering the particularities about each village, learning about how people live their daily lives in the mountains, as well as being exposed to the fauna and flora. Guide is an INCREDIBLE photographer! He spots animals miles away and is able to capture the most stunning pictures! During that time, we visited the famous Chungsi cave and another five-story cave (great place to play hide and seek!), as well as the oldest monastery in Mustang from the 8th century. The next 3 days were a bit calmer physically, with shorter distances to walk daily, allowing us to truly discover the Lo manthang region and get to know the lovely Didi working in the tea house, who so kindly showed us buckwheat, mustard, potato and millet fields, as well as taking us to hot springs, which definitely felt really good for our sore legs.
We then continued our trek, (fueling on dal bhat power!), and were absolutely amazed by the majestic scenery. The views are completely different in this region: literally a desert, with sand dunes! It was extremely fulfilling and satisfying to appreciate the dream-like views after having reached the top of our two passages through mountains, which were over 4000 meters of altitude (we celebrated with a happy dance on top!). We also crossed many gorgeous rivers and spent some enjoyable time looking at rocks and finding fossils, in a place that Guide calls “the fossil factory” (he again has an eye for spotting the most fascinating rocks and fossils)!
It was so culturally interesting to witness the differences in the villages as our journey progressed: the dialects had particularities, the villagers had different physical traits, and each Dal bhat was unique ! We also had the incredible opportunity to watch a Buddhist prayer ceremony in the evening, where they served warm yak milk.
Our journey ended a day sooner than expected because of a truly unfortunate landslide that hit Kagbeni; it was heartbreaking to see the damage it caused to the village. We therefore planned extra time to travel back to Pokhara, which was another very smart and cautious decision from our guide. All in all, this journey filled me with memories of playing outside with kids in the village, images of powerful mountains, tastes of delicious food, sounds of us laughing all together, curiosity to learn more about the culture in this area, all of this thanks to Guide’s experience, knowledge and wonderful sense of humour. Would most definitely recommend going trekking with Best Agency !