Muktinath to ABC Nepal

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Featured Image: Heavily modified panorama of Machhapuchhre or Fishtail from above MBC towards ABC.

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 6 March 2018

Muktinath to ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) trekking in Nepal, 2004

We went to ABC in the Annapurna Sanctuary for the second time in December 2017. I thought it might be a good idea to outline our first trek in Nepal in preparation for the photo essay of our more recent trip with a better camera.

It was a much quieter time in Nepal in 2004, because it was in the midst of the Maoist Insurgency.

In the Spring of 2004, we went to Nepal for the first time and began on part of the Annapurna Circuit. We were very ignorant but secured the services of Davendra as our guide/porter on the Internet. Davendra was tall for a Nepali, dark, friendly with a good sense of humour. He was also very patient and helped us to learn the protocols of trekking in Nepal. We had no problems securing accommodation almost anywhere.

 Jomsom, Kagbeni, Jharkot, Muktinath and Marpha (5 days)

 We flew up to Jomsom (2710m) on the Annapurna Circuit, taking Diamox for the altitude the night before. The flight crossed the ridge near Ghorepani with its acres of beautiful Rhododendron forests just beneath us.

We walked up to Muktinath via Kagbeni, a charming medieval village —the gateway to Upper Mustang. Because Denise had a bad cold and was feeling the altitude we stayed at Jharkot on our secnd night and at Muktinath (3710 m) the next.

We had infinite freedom about where we stayed and when. This was a luxury but we didn’t know it. We also had to learn to that Davendra had important needs too and that we had to cater to them too and to compromise to make us all happy.

Muktinath is a famous pilgrimage site the first stop below the Thorong La high Pass for those undertaking the Annapurna Circuit. By starting at Jomsom, we were planning to cover roughly one third of the circuit, a sensible start for beginners in Nepal. Staying in Muktinath we saw many exhausted walkers coming down from Thorong La.

We walked back down from Muktinath through Jomsom to Marpha (2680 m) where we stayed for two nights as we both had colds. Marpha was a wonderful medieval village. On our rest day through Davendra, we attended an exciting bow and arrow competition among the locals. We congratulated and celebrated with the winner. The locals were unused to tourists attending the whole match and getting as excited as they were.

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