Thursday, October 21, 2010

Travel: Mustang Pt.2

The photos below are from the second installment of my 14 day hike through Mustang, Nepal. Truth be told I did not hike for all 14 days of the journey. I was on foot for the first 7 days to Lo Manthang, during the return I split the time between horseback and foot. I did not commit to hiking powerfully for a full 14 days, if I did, maybe I would feel like a true outdoors man (Davy Crockett concept, a huge influence in my own life, I must have watched 'Davy Crocket, King of the Wild Frontier' over 100 times as a child). Riding Nepalese style on a horse through the mountains was the main reason for passing up foot travel, the feeling of being a real cowboy. Although I did not wrangle or herd any cattle, I was able to traverse terrains that were reminiscent from scenes in an Italo-Western. In another reality we could have starred in a neu-Nepalese Western...

I rode in the company of: a master South Asian outdoorsman whom was the leader of the trek, a restoration expert responsible for keeping a lot of the ancient monasteries intact throughout Mustang and the Himalayas, a high-Lama that ran a school in Pohkara, 3 children from Mustang that attended the Lama's school in Pokhara that were on their way back to visit their families, and last but not least a great support team of sherpas.

The diverse group made for a trip filled with a range of different experiences and interactions on a daily basis. On any given day we'd wake up as the sun rose eat a relatively light breakfast that was usually made up of oatmeal &/or eggs, sausages and toast. We'd discuss the path we'd take, rest stops, points of interest, lunch break and our next camp location. An average day encompassed close to 8 hours of hiking up and down the surrounding landscape. Some of my most treasured experiences on the trip was times spent in restoration sites of Buddhist temples. Looking at frescos that dated centuries if not millennia humbles your existence in time. Seeing the restoration work on some of these massive frescos some spanning several meters wide and tall was amazing, with each brush stroke life was being breathed back into the space.

An unforgettable experience, I will most definitely return in the near future.





prayer ceremony

stopping at a peak

having lunch at a teahouse









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