The Upper Mustang ride takes you to a soaring altitude of 4,800 meters. Locals speak traditional Tibetic languages and Tibetan culture is visible throughout. Because the Upper Mustang was a restricted area until 1992 the region was well preserved. The Thak also call the Upper Mustang home. Survival depends on tourism, animal husbandry and trade. Foreigners were not allowed in the Upper Mustang until 1992 and most travel over the same trade route that was used in the 15th century.
We meet at Ride and Dare headquarters for a short Q & A, briefing and review of traffic laws before touring the beautiful Phewa Lake. You will meet your ride team and test-drive your bike.
Pokhara to Tatopani via Sarangkot Before saying goodbye to Pokhara we will enjoy an early breakfast while taking in the scenic views of Phewa Lake. After breakfast we head to Sarangkot on 93 km of paved road to the village of Beni making for an easy early ride. Get ready, at Beni we head off road for 38 km to Tatopani and settle in for the night.
Today we drive 65 km to Kagbeni stopping in between to the Jomsom Market. Incredibly scenic views of the Dhaolagiri, Nilgiri and Tukuche peaks. This day is culturally and visually rich with monasteries, caves, local people and panoramic mountain views. There is some improvement on stretches of road but we are still primarily off road, pausing at the Kali Gandalki Gorge, the world’s deepest gorge.
After crossing the river we will pass through the city of Jomson and Kagbeni on our way to the Hindu temple, Muktinath. Muktinath, a Vishnu Temple, is the highest temple in the world at an altitude of 3,800 m. The air thins near Muktinath and the views are stunning.
At the temple you can take a dip in the holy pond (Kunda) where it is believed that negative karma will be washed away. Free yourself from sins and bring salvation by bathing beneath ALL 108 VERY COLD taps where water flows direct from the Kali Gandaki River. The faithful will bathe three times under all 108 taps. Visit the Jwala Mai Temple, important to both Buddhists and Hindus. A small amount of natural gas sustains the perpetual flame, it is here that all elements are present. We head back to the cobblestone streets of Kagbeni and an altitude of 2804 m. The air is sweet in Kagbeni, don’t forget to take a evening walk.
Heading out of Kagbeni we will check in at the police post before entering the restricted area of Mustang. We leave the river at the Chusang Valley. Passing through a small high altitude village (3,800 m) and Nya La Pass, (4,010 m) Tibetan culture and influence is predominant in the local villages. Passing by the red cliffs of Dhakmar the landscape is stunning, we continue heading to Ghami where we will spend the night in a local teahouse.
The Mustang region is the second least populated area in Nepal and borders on Tibet. Tibetan culture and religion is predominant throughout the region. From Ghami to Lomanthang we will pass sheer mountain rock walls with small manmade caves. No one knows how old the caves are but we do know they are rich with history, mummified bodies, and Buddhist cave paintings. The road is dusty through the Mustang Canyon, the river can be high. We will pass through the small villages of Charang and Dhakmar, and Ghargumb. The Thak and Lopa people live in the Upper Mustang, and practice Buddhism, many are farmers, shepherds and merchants. The day is full of panoramic, constantly changing views.
We rest, acclimate and explore the area. The altitude of Lomanthang is 4,800 m
Our return journey allows us to continue enjoying stunning panoramic views. We continue off road, spending the night in Ghilling.
We continue off road to Kagbeni, this is a long dusty day of off road riding but if time allows be sure to take a walk around the village.
The adventure isn’t over yet, Day 5 is a challenging, off road day along the bank of the River Gandaki. The road is rough but the views are pastoral. Green hills, valleys and small villages are scattered along the route. Today Annapurna South makes an appearance and stays with us through the day. We spend the night in Dana, a small, rustic village
Last day, from Dana to Beni 49 km of dusty rock road. Beni brings lunch and the road continues to Pokhara, curving but paved, for an easy final three hours. Evening ends with sharing a final meal, our experiences and traditional music.