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.
Mandy and I in front of a huge Buddha Statue.
Mandy checking out the 108 cow-shaped brass waterspouts, pouring forth sacred water.
Close up of one of the waterspouts.
Not sure how you get to be a VIP at a pilgrimage site, but I want in on that toilet!
Mandy in one of the complex’s Gompas (temple). Some very intricate and neat carvings in here.
Something you didn’t know: empty Pringles cans also double for sacred incense holders
The artwork outside was pretty amazing
This is how you heat your tea in Nepal 🙂
Worshippers inside the Jwalamai (Goddess of Fire) Temple, with the ever-burning flame.
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.
Cool formations on the way.
Kagbeni 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.
OH 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)
The narrow stone streets make you feel like you’re in some castle town of Medieval Europe.
Huge 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).
Weather finally starting to clear around sunset, revealing snowy alpine peaks.
Ok this one is from Pass Day, but got mixed in so included anyway!
Mandy 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!