Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal,

On the Other Side of the Pass


hamlet
The Monastery
A Stupa of Jarkhot
Portal to Jarkhot
Gompa Buildings
male kheni
Almost there
Dweller of Jarkhot
Jarkhot and the Cordillera
The Great Gompa
living in the sun
Jarkhot Buddhist-Tibetan Buildings
kagbeni à vista
Kagbeni and the Kingdom of Mustang
Bob Marley Hotel
Leaving Muktinath
Next Stop: Jarkhot
The Majestic Jarkhot
After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.

As much as we'd like to, we can't help but return to the topic of baths.

On the afternoon we completed the Crossing the Thorong La Gorge, had gone a week without showers, or anything we could even match.

At the Bob Marley Hotel in Muktinath, “One Love" was "One Love🇧🇷 We found ourselves gifted with fluid showers, very hot at first, which an excessive simultaneous use soon warmed up.

Worn out from eight hours of walking, most of it above five thousand meters in altitude, almost always very steep, we hurriedly reorganized our equipment and clothes.

Freed from that annoyance, we moved to the terrace, where we were supposed to meet the rest of the crossing group.

At Muktinath, the 5410m altitude of the gorge had risen to 3800m.

Even if incomparable with what we suffered at High Camp, the end of the afternoon brought a chill that the stone on which the hotel was built seemed to accentuate. As soon as the sun disappeared behind the mountains, the terrace became uncomfortable.

They have long been accustomed to the "game of chairs" of guest e tea houses from the Annapurnas, we hurried to the dining room and conquered the surroundings of the salamander. There we gathered to devour the dinners that our metabolism, extremely accelerated from so much walking and effort, forced us to anticipate.

We surrender to a chat as pleasant as the room. Don, our porter, plays snooker with Sara and Manel's pseudo-guide. When they are finished, the porter bursts in, drunk, as he did night after night.

We have to convince him that he could not return to Manang (at least a day and a half away), at that time.

That he had to go to sleep and that he would leave, recovered, the following morning. Despite his alcoholism and stocky stature, from what we had seen on the way there, we thought that, as long as the weather didn't get too stormy, Don would be home in just one day.

Around 21pm, fed and comforted, we felt our bodies giving way. We all went to bed. We thought that, after those three exhausting days, we would sleep until noon. Instead, at 7:30 am we were waking up, rejuvenated and once again famished.

We devoured our favorite breakfast from the menu, between 8:30 and 9:XNUMX.

Half an hour later, we take a look at the main local shrine, Mukti Kshetra (translatable as “place of liberation”), Vishnuite and sacred to Hindus but which Buddhists are used to venerating.

After the short pilgrimage up the slope, we return to the parched street with the hotels. It is between stalls full of clothes and handicrafts that we begin the route to lower lands.

With Don on his way to Manang, we had the two big backpacks on us again. The readaptation to that overweight cost us, but, with the bodies massacred from, not long after, twenty days of intense exercise, it was quickly fulfilled.

The first big difference we found along the way was in the landscape. We had already gotten used to the snow that covered the slopes and peaks since Thorong Pedi to the highest slopes of Thorong La.

There, north of mountains as imposing as Annapurna III (7555m) and Tilicho (7134m), between the rainy season and winter, rain and snowfall were rare. The ground remained rough and even dusty, the vegetation yellow from the cold and dryness.

Coming watercourses would open exuberant exceptions in this scenario. We needed to get there.

From Muktinath to Kagbeni, Almost Always Downhill

We bid farewell to Muktinath. A few hundred meters later, we realized that, unless we avoided it, the continuation of the Annapurna Circuit would be on asphalt.

In an instant, we agreed that, whenever possible, we would find shortcuts and still immaculate alternatives.

In this quest, we reached a point with an unobstructed view. In the distance, the sharp and snowy peaks of the Jakkriojagga mountain range (6402m) stood out.

Just below, an extreme settlement sprawled over an arid ridge. As soon as we spotted it, we cut to the first country trail that seemed to lead there.

The obsession with doing so assured us the Himalayan and Buddhist genuineness with which the Annapurna Circuit had trapped us, to the zenith of Thorong La.

The trail enters a stronghold of terraces that we imagined, from May to September, soaked and filled with lush rice paddies. At that time, they supported any other upland cereal that was slow to emerge.

A peasant urged two cows to pull the plow with which, among the autumn bushes, he turned the earth.

Entrance to Majestic Jarkhot

Shortly after greeting him, we come across a sign that, despite its “prohibited” form, clearly had a “Welcome to Jarkhot".

Jarkhot was thus the next settlement, about three hundred meters lower than Muktinath, closer to the great river that flowed through it, the Gandaki.

As we take the final steps, a large flock of crows takes off from where we don't know. A sudden updraft had invited the black birds to hover over the valley and over us. When we reached the entrance to the village and its long gompa, we had already lost sight of them.

After the Hindu hiatus of the also known as Shree Muktinath Temple, Jarkhot marked a full return to the Buddhist-Tibetan sphere of almost the entire Annapurna Circuit, of sanctuary-villages from which stood out brakka and the much larger Manang.

We went back to walking side by side with prayer walls and crossing the stupas that served as portals of blessing at the entrance and at the exit, reinforced by two khenis, one male, the other female, a duo of guardians molded in clay and tasked with devouring evil spirits.

Prayer flags stood out from the smooth roofs of the gompa's various buildings.

A resident next to the temple appears on the terrace of his home and throws a gift to the chickens that are scouring the alley in front of him.

Seen from the south and from its rear, Jarkhot had seemed like a thing to us.

After having passed to the north and moving away from it, we see its line of buildings being defined, all with white facades, with the exception of the primordial building, the royal palace, towering and ocher.

Gradually, the village takes on an grandeur in keeping with its past.

Jarkhot, a Past Between Royalty and Traditional Nepalese Medicine

In the XNUMXth century, Jharkot, formerly known as Dzarkot, often shortened to Dzar, grew when the kings of the Gunthang dynasty became aware of its privileged location.

Surrounded by land much more fertile than what existed in the Jhong region, from which they were quick to move.

From Jharkot, royalty continued to rule over a vast domain that today encompasses twelve baragaon, the equivalent of villages and their land.

In that era, largely thanks to the fertility and abundance of plants, the people of Jharkot specialized in natural medicine and even veterinary medicine, in its most diverse forms of healing.

That aptitude has developed to this day.

In the large gompa of Jharkot, Buddhist-Tibetan monks preserve a fruitful collection of natural remedies that Nepalese people in the vicinity resort to when they are afflicted.

The number of divisions and the grandiosity of the royal palace, in general, attest that the kings of Gunthang moved to the old Dzar with plans to stay there.

They appreciated the unobstructed views over the Muktinath valley, over Jhong, Putak and Khingar.

Kagbeni, the village we had established as final destination day, it remained hidden by the slope that rose to the west and above Jharkot.

On the way to Kagbeni

The trail leading out of the village descended towards a tributary of the Gandaki River. As Kagbeni was located in another direction, we were forced to take the asphalt again.

Moments later, a distance marker planted beside the road informs us that Kagbeni was five kilometers away.

Even with the backpacks pressing our shoulders like never before, it was little for what we had gotten used to walking around.

The road winds, pointing towards the towering, jagged mountains of Jakkriojagga. We continued without a view to the west. Until we reached the lowered end of the slope that gave way to the road.

There, we discovered a whole new valley, much flatter and greener than that of Jharkot, based on alluvial land accumulated over time by the flow of the Gandaki.

An enormous and stony riverbed preceded the village and the many smallholdings that surrounded and fed it. A new steep and muddy slope closed the whole scene.

Kagbeni, the Gateway to the Realm of High Mustang

To the north lay the long-forbidden domain of Upper Mustang, which inspired plans for future adventures.

Almost 12 km and four hours of contemplation after leaving Muktinath, we were at the gates of Kagbeni.

Annapurna Circuit 13th: High camp - Thorong La - Muktinath, Nepal,

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal,

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Annapurna Circuit 12th: Thorong Phedi to high camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Pisang, Nepal,

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Ngawal when the last snow faded.
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal,

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal,

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal,

Annapurna Circuit - The Painful Acclimatization of Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal,

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Annapurna Circuit: 5th- Ngawal-BragaNepal,

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal,

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Safari
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Architecture & Design
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s – Old-Fashioned Car Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Adventure
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
MassKara Festival, Bacolod City, Philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Yucatan Peninsula, Mérida City, Mexico, Cabildo
Cities
Mérida, Mexico

The Most Exuberant of Meridas

In 25 BC, the Romans founded Emerita Augusta, capital of Lusitania. The Spanish expansion generated three other Méridas in the world. Of the four, the Yucatan capital is the most colorful and lively, resplendent with Hispanic colonial heritage and multi-ethnic life.
Meal
Markets

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Bride gets in car, traditional wedding, Meiji temple, Tokyo, Japan
Culture
Tokyo, Japan

A Matchmaking Sanctuary

Tokyo's Meiji Temple was erected to honor the deified spirits of one of the most influential couples in Japanese history. Over time, it specialized in celebrating traditional weddings.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Sport
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Entrance porch in Ellikkalla, Uzbekistan
Traveling
Uzbekistan

Journey through the Uzbekistan Pseudo-Roads

Centuries passed. Old and run-down Soviet roads ply deserts and oases once traversed by caravans from the Silk RoadSubject to their yoke for a week, we experience every stop and incursion into Uzbek places, into scenic and historic road rewards.
Islamic silhouettes
Ethnic

Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West, Turkey Seeks its Way

An emblematic and grandiose metropolis, Istanbul lives at a crossroads. As Turkey in general, divided between secularism and Islam, tradition and modernity, it still doesn't know which way to go

portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Alaska, by Homer in Search of Whittier
History
Homer a Whittier, Alaska

In Search of the Stealth Whittier

We leave Homer in search of Whittier, a refuge built in World War II and housing two hundred or so people, almost all in a single building.
Roça Bombaim, Roça Monte Café, São Tomé island, flag
Islands
Center São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

From Roça to Roça, Towards the Tropical Heart of São Tomé

On the way between Trindade and Santa Clara, we come across the terrifying colonial past of Batepá. Passing through the Bombaim and Monte Café roças, the island's history seems to have been diluted in time and in the chlorophyll atmosphere of the Santomean jungle.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Literature
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Celestyal Crystal Cruise, Santorini, Greece
Nature
Nea Kameni, Santorini, Greece

The Volcanic Core of Santorini

About three millennia had passed since the Minoan eruption that tore apart the largest volcano island in the Aegean. The cliff-top inhabitants watched land emerge from the center of the flooded caldera. Nea Kameni, the smoking heart of Santorini, was born.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Van at Jossingfjord, Magma Geopark, Norway
Natural Parks
Magma Geopark, Norway

A Somehow Lunar Norway

If we went back to the geological ends of time, we would find southwestern Norway filled with huge mountains and a burning magma that successive glaciers would shape. Scientists have found that the mineral that predominates there is more common on the Moon than on Earth. Several of the scenarios we explore in the region's vast Magma Geopark seem to be taken from our great natural satellite.
Ulugh Beg, Astronomer, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, A Space Marriage
UNESCO World Heritage
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Astronomer Sultan

The grandson of one of the great conquerors of Central Asia, Ulugh Beg, preferred the sciences. In 1428, he built a space observatory in Samarkand. His studies of the stars led him to name a crater on the Moon.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Characters
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Network launch, Ouvéa Island-Lealdade Islands, New Caledonia
Beaches
Ouvéa, New Caledonia

Between Loyalty and Freedom

New Caledonia has always questioned integration into faraway France. On the island of Ouvéa, Loyalty Archipelago, we find an history of resistance but also natives who prefer French-speaking citizenship and privileges.
Religion
Lhasa, Tibet

When Buddhism Tires of Meditation

It is not only with silence and spiritual retreat that one seeks Nirvana. At the Sera Monastery, the young monks perfect their Buddhist knowledge with lively dialectical confrontations and crackling clapping of hands.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Weddings in Jaffa, Israel,
Society
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

Tel Aviv is famous for the most intense night in the Middle East. But, if its youngsters are having fun until exhaustion in the clubs along the Mediterranean, it is more and more in the nearby Old Jaffa that they tie the knot.
Saksun, Faroe Islands, Streymoy, warning
Daily life
Saksun, StreymoyFaroe Islands

The Faroese Village That Doesn't Want to be Disneyland

Saksun is one of several stunning small villages in the Faroe Islands that more and more outsiders visit. It is distinguished by the aversion to tourists of its main rural owner, author of repeated antipathies and attacks against the invaders of his land.
Flock of flamingos, Laguna Oviedo, Dominican Republic
Wildlife
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.
PT EN ES FR DE IT