How we planned the trip to Mustang?
In 2015 we travelled Pokhara in Sep/Oct, which was our first long overnight trip. Then in 2016, we made the Mustang trip. I still remember how we fixed planning to go to Mustang. It was the day when I made a bike trip with my friend Arose to Dhulikhel, and while returning, we were resting at the roadside facing towards the Kathmandu Fun Valley.
We talked about last year’s Pokhara trip and started talking about the beautiful destinations which we wanted to visit in the future. We suddenly started talking about the Mustang, and within a few minutes, we fixed the date to begin our trip, which was next week. Originally we planned to have a motorbike trip, which our parents would never have accepted
What was my budget, and how I get it?
Asking the money for travel is always the hard part of student life. I don’t know my other friends’ approach but I am always straight forward in asking the money for the travel. My mom also supported me so that it was easy for me to ask my father. My father’s reaction is no for the first time but eventually, give permission as well as money. He called his friend who has travelled to Mustang to know more details about it but his major curiosity was how much should I give to him?
I don’t know about the amount I am receiving until the travel day. He came with us to the bus park, and he gave me around 8 thousand. My mother gave me an extra Rs 2000. A year after in my engineering college, my collegemate from Mustang was shocked by hearing my budget, and his reply was “You have done nothing then”. Yeah, our trip indeed looked like Muktinath Darshan Yatra, but we have collected lots of memories with this strict budget.
What you do if you met your Guardian while travelling?
During those days, no bus would go directly to Mustang. We need to change the bus from Beni, Myagdi. There was one family on the bus who were seated beside us. They had one son who was around our age, and they are both aged similar to our parents. We were so friendly to them, and they became like our guardian. It was great to travel with them, but we all can relate between boys-only trip and trip with the parents.
We got into an uncomfortable situation when they request us to stay in the same hotel and have dinner together. We wanted to say “NO” from the inside, but we need to stay together as it was already night when we reach Beni.
Choosing a room was the tricky part. This family wants to stay together with us, but we were trying to select the room away from them. My friends became red faces when Uncle from that family was saying that he would not have given his son to travel like us with his friends. You know, we know everybody knows why?
Two new friends
In those days it was tough to get the seat for the bus from Beni. We need to be pretty quick to buy the tickets and reach the Mustang within the daylight. Luckily two seats were available, and one has to adjust in the cabin. One of my friends was very chatty. He adjusted with the group of guides in the bus cabin and started tuning with them. He is very quick on talking with new people but also very slow in knowing people.
During the launch break, he was busy with the two new girls travelling on the same bus. They were also going to the Mustang for the first time. As it was already evening in the Jomsong, they were also willing to join us in search of the hotel. Local suggested us stay in Ekla Bhatti than in Jomsong because we had planned to reach the Muktinath Temple on foot and this would save time.
These girls insisted on staying in Jomsong, so we need to leave them. I think one of the friends was already in love with the girl from that group. Does his love story end without starting?
It was already 6 pm in the Jomsom. Locals told us it would take about half an hour to reach Ekle Bhatti but actually, the time was 2 hours which we realized after reaching there. It was already dark, and we could only hear the noise of River-Kali Gandaki.
No internet, no direction. One thing I have learned that whenever locals say 30 minutes just multiply it by at least 2. We were exhausted, so we decided to stay in the first hotel we saw, but there were no rooms available. They offer us the dining room, which we accepted.
Hiking to Muktinath Temple
80% of our trip until this day was by road. We 3 loves hiking and trekking compare to going to our destination by bus. In the morning, we decided to walk to reach our final goal – Muktinath.
Half an hour from Eklebhatti we reached a very famous Kag Beni. We saw people are bathing in the holy river – Kali Gandaki. We can also buy Shaligram or search near the banks of the river.
During those days road to Muktinath was not pitched and was under construction.
We reached our destiny with a once in a lifetime experience. It’s the hilly road to Muktinath, and we chose the shortcut. Imagine you are going to the hilltop where there is no road. We imagined precisely that way and tried walking on a sandy path. Big Stones were loosely held, and if we push them, it will go down to people’s farmland.
Sadly all our videos deleted. It would be interesting to show you guys in visual.
Finally, we reached the Muktinath temple and finished our trip. We stayed there for one night then we started our journey back to Pokhara.
This is the blog with experience rather than an itinerary. If you are planning to trip for Mustang, I will do my best to provide all the necessary information. You can also read my trekking experience in Annapurna Basecamp.