Nepal II

Annapurna Circuit Nepal

Nearing the pass.

At the top of the 17,700ft Thorung La Pas. This is the highest point of the trek. We were very lucky in that we had good weather and we were able to spend some time there enjoying the views. Both the day before and the day after we crossed the weather was so and so cold and miserable that climbers couldn’t stop at the summit, but had to continue on down as quickly as they could.

Entering the town of Muktinath where we stayed for two nights. We were
now in the rain shadow of the Himalayas and the land became very dry.

Muktinath is a pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Buddhists. It has a temple built over natural gas and hot springs. The gas was somehow ignited and three flames burn seemingly miraculously over earth, stone and water. People walk all the way from India to view the flames and bathe in the hot springs.

Pilgrims stack rocks as they believe it’ll bring them good luck.

A holy man on a pilgrimage to Muktinath.

On the Trail

The sanitary conditions along the route can be appalling. Many of the towns build their outhouses right over the rivers. This is great for the town as it washes their waste away, but it horrible for everybody living downstream who depends on the river for their drinking water. We boiled, filtered and treated our water, but no matter how careful we were we still got sick several times. We didn’t meet any travelers from the western world who did not get sick at least once. I lost a lot of weight and was down to 119lbs from my normal 150 when I returned home. I would recommend trekking in Nepal to anybody who wants to lose weight. It is nearly impossible not to when you are spending your days hiking at high altitude while having multiple bouts with diarrhea.

Another caravan passes by.

On the Trail

Standing on Poon Hill with Dhaulagiri, the elventh highest mountain in the
world in the background.