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Annapurna Circuit - Day 12 (Muktinath - Kagbeni)

Kagbeni Travel Blog

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Heading for Kagbeni

After our visit to the Muktinath Temple Complex, we proceeded back through Ranipauwa, past our teahouse, and headed down the road to Kagbeni.  It was a short walk of just under 3 hours, but we had another 1000m (3280 ft) to descent in that time.  On my already achy legs it was a quite painful day.

The land continued to be desert-like other than in areas irrigated for cropland.  There splashes of green dotted the landscape.  Jeeps and buses danced up and down the road.  Our path switched between the road and side trails often as we passed some of the smaller villages along the way.  At one point Santosh pointed out a shortcut through some of the fields and led us down a path (although Chitre disagreed).

Old Jharkot
  While I'm not sure it was a shortcut it was definitely a much more pleasant walk than along the road.  As we reached Kagbeni the trail descended sharply to the Kali Gandaki river valley.  After yesterday's descent and now today's I ended up with a black big toenail from pounding the toe against my boot that apparently did not fit as well as it should have (but that I had not noticed before - but then I haven't done any 8000 ft descents in 2 days before either).

We reached our lodge in Kagbeni (2800m - 9186 ft) and had lunch before going out to explore this town.  We first walked to the edge of town to gaze out to the north up the Kali Gandaki River.  North of Kagbeni lies the region of Upper Mustang and Lo Manthang (the ancient capital).

Descending to Kagbeni
  A sparsely populated but culturally rich region, Mustang is a restricted area which requires an expensive permit ($700 for 10 days) to enter and trek.  The stated reason is to keep tourists to a minimum as the area does not have the services to support a mass influx of tourism.  We would not be heading that way on our trek.

We returned through town and visited a monastery and saw the old stone fort that offered protection to the ancient kingdom.  We saw some enterprising Nepals, one of whom had started a YakDonald's and another who had appropriated a 7/11 sign and placed it in his shop window.  We returned to our lodge for dinner and I had probably one of the best meals of my trip a pasta dish with a homemade sauce that was just sumptuous.  Much better than the fried noodles, fried rice, and Dal Baat that we had been subsisting on for the past 10+ days.  It was also nice to have a beer again after avoiding the alcohol at the higher altitudes.  The cards finally made a reappearance today as well as for once everyone is not completely knackered after dinner and heading immediately to bed.  We were rebels again staying up until 9:30PM before heading to sleep.

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Heading for Kagbeni
Heading for Kagbeni
Old Jharkot
Old Jharkot
Descending to Kagbeni
Descending to Kagbeni
Oasis in the desert-like landscape
Oasis in the desert-like landscape
Desert Landscape at 3700m (12139 f…
Desert Landscape at 3700m (12139 …
Nilgiri
Nilgiri
Talking and sharing some crayons w…
Talking and sharing some crayons …
Last views toward Thorung La
Last views toward Thorung La
Trekking in the desert.
Trekking in the desert.
Kagbeni - an oasis in the desert
Kagbeni - an oasis in the desert
Cliffs near Kagbeni
Cliffs near Kagbeni
Stone walls in Kagbeni
Stone walls in Kagbeni
Nilgiri Peak overlooks Kagbeni.
Nilgiri Peak overlooks Kagbeni.
Looking up the Kali Gandaki toward…
Looking up the Kali Gandaki towar…
Looking up the Kali Gandaki toward…
Looking up the Kali Gandaki towar…
Old Kagbeni
Old Kagbeni
Old fort in Kagbeni.
Old fort in Kagbeni.
Kagbeni
photo by: Stevie_Wes