Our itinerary is well planned with appropriate time for acclimatization to altitude and the multiple buffer/rest days can handle unscheduled delays, and there is a variety in the length of trekking
days with some half-days to/from villages, giving time to further wander around locally and enjoy. We get to altitude quickly but then stay
at the 3800m level for a number days before heading higher.
Although this is the itinerary we plan, we adapt the itinerary to conditions and to the trekkers along with us.
Prior to your arrival in Kathmandu we send out an email with detailed arrival instructions including the visa on arrival procedure, meeting our staff, contact details and changing money etc.
** The itinerary below is a work in progress, on booking we will send a PDF with substantially more detail of the Upper Mustang section.**
Classic Upper Mustang near Luri Gompa
Day 0 - early arrival
Most trekkers have experienced Kathmandu previously however if you have not, then arrive at least a day earlier and we can arrange a city highlights tour and perhaps dinner at Bauddha.
An additional day also aids recovery from long flights and time zone changes, which are particularly brutal if coming from North America.
You will be met at the airport by our staff and escorted to the hotel where Jamie will meet you.
Day 1 - arrive Kathmandu 1350m
Our staff meet you at the airport, look for a sign with your name on it and Jamie will meet you at the hotel. We take your passport for the final permit process.
Jamie will show you around Thamel, the funky tourist area, pointing out the best restaurants, the shops for maps and last minute gear. We have a trip briefing in the hotel starting 6pm this evening and head out to dinner together.
A stormy evening at Bauddha stupa
2 - fly Pokhara 827m
We take a short half hour flight to Pokhara in an ~50 seater propeller aircraft. From the right side of the plane, huge Himalayan mountains rise from the middle hills that are dotted with villages and terraced fields. It is a relief to transition from the appalling Kathmandu traffic to laid back Pokhara. Touristy lakeside is an area of cafes, souvenir trinkets, trekking gear shops and hotels.
Check out the World Peace Stupa if your legs want some excercise.
3 - fly Jomsom, drive Kagbeni ~2800m
It is an early morning flight to Jomsom, to beat the regular midday winds,
and after meeting the crew (who came in overland), we drive up the massive Kali Gandaki valley with Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, and most visibly the Nilgiri mountains towering
behind us. It is said that the Kali Gandaki is the deepest gorge in the world,
with these monster 8000 metre peaks soaring no less than five kilometers above us.
Kagbeni overlooks the Kali Gandaki River, and is a warren of mud brick alleys, an authentic taste of a Tibetan-style village and of what is to come.
Kagbeni with colourful buckwheat fields and a glimpse of the soaring Niligiri mountains
4 - day trip from Kagbeni
5 - drive-trek Ghiling
Leaving Kagbeni, we pass through the restricted area checkpost. Kagbeni and south are in what is classified as Lower Mustang and are part of the popular Annapurna Circuit. Beyond, through the checkpost is Upper Mustang, long restricted by an expensive restricted area permit.
Harvest time (for seasonal reference, taken 26 September, 2010)
Spectacular, the bridge to Ghyakar - Jamie
A feature of Upper Mustang are the strikingly set huge chortens, here on the outskirts of Chunggar
The gorgeous colours and formations approaching Dhakmar - Jamie
Traditional weaving - Jamie
9-10-11 - Lo Manthang 3800m
In addition to exploring the impressive gompas in the walled city, there are so many other of other options for day trips that we stay two or three full days here.
People often take a jeep or horses up valley to Chosar, the caves and gompa there. We will discuss the many options while there.
A gompa protector
11 - alternative: trek Dhi 3400m
There is the quick way back, and then there is the scenic eastern side, which we take. Optionally, you can jeep to Yara.
12 - Yara 3650m via Luri Gompa
Luri is a unique cave gompa, set amid the incredible crumbled terrain, and is a "must visit" if we are in the region. It really gives an insight to the dedication of the faith and also of how people used to live, when everybody lived in caves, perhaps 500 years or more ago.
Climbing up to Luri Cave Gompa
13/14 - trek Tangye 3240m via ~4000m pass
Now that we are more trekking fit, we cover some distance today with a normal day but a steady pace, and the landscape entertains.
New Dhi; the plan was (?) for the village to relocate here, due to water issues
15 - trek Tetang 3040m / Chhusang
Between Tangye and Tetang, there is nowhere to stay in between, so it is a longer day trekking, but immensely satisfying. Walking steadily will get us there, no problem. It is also perhaps the most scenic day of landscapes of this immensely beautiful trek, and that is really saying something.
Leaving the village of Tangye
16 - trek Muktinath 3760m via Gyu La 4077m
We take the adventurous trek route to Muktinath.
Machapuchare from a morning excursion viewpoint near Pokhara
Day 24 - trip ends
We take you to the airport for your flight home.
We are happy to arrange other activities if you want to stay longer.
Namaste and Tashi Delek!