Tranquility amidst dry mountains of Upper Mustang
November 17, 2019

Conquering those rugged terrains round the globe has always given me the adrenaline rush and sense of tranquility. In my own words I am a Trek Monk. Since I hardly get any time off, I wanted to make the most of my vacation this year. I picked up my diary and saw Mustang trek in Nepal circled with red marker. At last a new terrain to conquer, a new horizon and of course the long journey from Spain.

New beginning: Kathamandu to Pokahara

Nepal with all its cultural riches showed great a promise when I reached Kathmandu on the first day of my journey. I met my fellow trekkers at Hotel Florid Nepal, my abode in the city. Different cultures and ethnicities in one place made me curious and I yearned to explore. We met our guide at the hotel’s lobby. He had one of those long mustaches that are stereotypically displayed on internet. He treated us with his vast experience and insights about the trip and how adventurous it would be. We rode the dangerous roads in order to reach Pokhara where we saw distinguished beauties of human efforts in the heart of nature. Be it the unique monuments or places of worship, they all were enchanting. The group couldn’t resist but stop the car several times to take pictures.

Peeking beauty: Jomsom to Kagbeni

Next day we took our scheduled flight to Jomsom. The natural aura of the city was quite appealing and my mind proclaimed belongingness to this pure air.

We started walking the less traveled trails that took us 3 hours to reach Kagbeni. We were tired from our initial journey and it made us hungry to our bone. Our dinner was arranged at Hotel YacDonalds. I saw mules heading towards our direction with a man leading them. These mules carried our baggage with determination that was clearly visible on their stoic faces.

Ode to the hills: Chele

Early dawn, the sun still dwindled behind some proud clouds. They seemed to perish a little bit when the sun showed its prowess. Breakfast included sandwiches with tea. We dressed for the long trek to the highest point of the upper Mustang (Lo Manthang). These mountains had a very metaphorical presence when you see it for the first time. Dusty and dry terrain caught the attention of the photographers in the group but for me it was more than just a picture. Chele was our stopping point. I saw friends laying their bodies with fatigue on the dry land without any complaints.

A night under thousand stars: Syanboche

We heard a call from our guide to get ready for the new day and staring with another tiresome experience and ending with beauty in its lap. From Chele we trekked to Syanboche. As I climbed the altitude through the steep trails, I saw the diminishing aspect of civilization. Less fertile soil made it difficult for settlement to hold its ground. I felt more confident in my effort to climb the Desert Mountains as my body adapted to the surrounding.

Altitude kept its head up for us, no regards for human legs: Tsarnag

From Syanboche to Tsarnag the terrain remained the same. Altitude kept increasing with little to no empathy for our inexperienced legs. The view of barren lands was our only source of inspiration. Exhaustion is the biggest enemy in these parts. Determination only resonates in people with great acceptance and I saw this opportunity before exhaustion could manipulate my passion.

The Last climb: Lo Manthang

The last echelon stood before us; Lo Manthang. It took us almost 4 hours to complete the last push, we reached the highest point that stands 3800m (12467ft) above sea level. These landscapes soon felt comfortable to allow scenic beauty to converse diligently. While the cold winds were blowing from the west, the warmth of the sun embraced me.

Returning to the starting point

We followed the same trail back to the starting point of Kagbeni but it took us less time than climbing. We enjoyed the reverse spectrum of the scenic beauty from our time of ascension. New friendships were made and it felt comfortable to exist in this dry area, a natural instinct of human comfort.

 I don’t know how I could express more about this journey that led me to the edge of my comfort level. This journey nurtured me in ways that I could have never imagined. Only nature can ever perform this miracle.