Nepal 2017 – Day 12 – Ranipauwa, Muktinath to Kagbeni

So when we last left our story of our hikers (Mandy and I), we had just spent a long, long day crossing the Thorung La pass.  I finally was able to sleep decently (after 3 days of very little sleep) although I did not sleep as long as I would’ve thought, given my exhaustion level.  With the hard day yesterday, we decided to make it a sort of rest day today, with a morning visit to the nearby Muktinath temple complex, and a shorter trek this afternoon to the “Medieval-like” village of Kagbeni.

Muktinath is the most important pilgrimage site in Nepal for both Hindus and Buddhists.  Kind of cool how 2 religions share the site.

 

20170504_35Mandy and I in front of a huge Buddha Statue.

 

20170504_16Mandy checking out the 108 cow-shaped brass waterspouts, pouring forth sacred water.

 

20170504_17Close up of one of the waterspouts.

 

20170504_19Not sure how you get to be a VIP at a pilgrimage site, but I want in on that toilet!

 

20170504_22Mandy in one of the complex’s Gompas (temple).  Some very intricate and neat carvings in here.

 

20170504_23Something you didn’t know:  empty Pringles cans also double for sacred incense holders

 

20170504_2620170504_27The artwork outside was pretty amazing

 

20170504_29This is how you heat your tea in Nepal 🙂

 

20170504_31Worshippers inside the Jwalamai (Goddess of Fire) Temple, with the ever-burning flame.

 

20170504_33 (2)Just another worshipper of the Fire Goddess paying his respects.

 

After a “Mexican” lunch (consisting of a bunch of non-mexican vegetables, but still tasty nonetheless), we headed out on our short trek for Kabeni.  We ended up on the dirt jeep road much of the way, and once again had to break out our rain gear shortly after departing Ranipauwa.

 

20170504_38Cool formations on the way.

 

20170504_4020170504_41Kagbeni in the distance.  I cannot express how STEEP that mountain wall in the background towering over the town was.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.

 

20170504_44OH YEA!!!  The Golden…horns?  12 days in to our trek, we finally came to my Mecca.  Probably a copyright infringement, but I’m guessing McDonald’s lawyers won’t be hiking out here to issue the cease and desist.  Yes, we did eat here, and got Yak Burgers and fries!  In a fast food twist, Mandy really liked the yak burger, and I was more “meh”.  (But really, wasn’t a fast food place at all)

 

20170504_4520170504_46The narrow stone streets make you feel like you’re in some castle town of Medieval Europe.

 

20170504_48Huge braided river(bed) heading to the north.  Kagbeni is the kick off point to restricted Upper Mustang region, where porters are required and permits a bit pricey, but rumored to be stunning in scenery.  Our German friends were headed into this region, so sadly we had no chance of seeing them for the rest of our trip (although at end of our trip we’d find out we were actually in Pokhara at the same time for just a day and missed each other then).

 

20170504_52Weather finally starting to clear around sunset, revealing snowy alpine peaks.

 

20170504_063520Ok this one is from Pass Day, but got mixed in so included anyway!

 

20170504_51Mandy relaxing in our tea house room, with hoody, sleeping bag, and blanket.  She was NOT a fan of no (room) heat anywhere in the Annapurna Circuit… but at least it wasn’t as cold as a few nights ago, before the Thourung La Pass.  And in Kagbeni at 9,300 feet altitude, we were about 8,500 feet below where we stood a little over 24 hours ago!  Yay oxygen!

One thought on “Nepal 2017 – Day 12 – Ranipauwa, Muktinath to Kagbeni

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