Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 3 Part 2: For the love of the Kali Gandaki river and Upper Mustang

Our tiny 15 seater flight landed at Jomsom airport smoothly. To call it one of my best flying experience would be an understatement. After entering our details at the Airport register, we got ourselves a porter to act as our guide and help carry our backpacks as the trek/hike up to Kagbeni is long and steep in places (moreover we weren't really confident if our random preparations for the trek in the last few months were enough). Kagbeni is a nice mid point to Muktinath (about 8 or so kilometres distance from Jomsom) and we wanted to take a day and break journey at this village to let our body get used to breathing with less oxygen dense air as we will be gaining altitude steadily through the day. Not to mention Kagbeni is also the place where you can stroll by the banks of the Kali and seek Shaligrams if you so wish. Something that I dearly wanted to do.

We set off without further delay from Jomsom after a quick black Tea (to help in acclimatisation) following the Kali Gandaki upstream towards her place of origin, the Upper Mustang. Soon, we left the town far behind as we walked on the banks of the Kali and moved uphill and down - with the river for company all the time. This is where I am going to suspend my belief that I can put everything into words. Because somethings can't just be expressed at all - especially if you want the reader to get the same sense of wonderment and awe that you felt. Perhaps the pictures can do the talking - let's hope.

As we moved from mountain to mountain in the narrow walking path, a sense of disbelief started taking shape. How can there be so much beauty. And that too in an arid place as that of the Mustang route we are following. To a person who grew up thinking Nilgiris (of the Ooty fame), are the best on Earth, and the mountains are supposed to be lush green, the mountains we passed through the day was a stark contrast and a constant challenge of my beliefs and perceptions of beauty. Oh what a creation  - one can't help but start thinking about the creator and wonder at our own insignificance in this grand universe. Every turn in the path, every twist of the river, every change in direction revealed a new sense of wonder. Our entire trek during the day was simply powered by the beauty of the River and her accompanying mountains.

Here, take a look at the pictures. And it's my wish and hope that you get to experience this for yourself too.

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