We made it though the Thorong La Pas(5416m)! To do so we had to get up at 3.30am in order to leave little past 4am. Most of the people in the packed teahouse left round the same time, but luckily it spread up quickly.
The climb itself was not challenging at all. The only challenge was the cold, it was - 9°C until the sun came up. The Thorong La Pass was a little disappointing, since there are almost no views from up there. Nonetheless the feeling of accomplishment is quite satisfactory once you reach the 5400m. We didn’t stay there for too long because of the cold. However, the next day I have noticed on the map that there are lakes close to the Thorong La Pass - maybe something worth checking out. We didn’t know at the time, so we didn’t go.
Once we started the descent, we warmed up quickly. The descent is quite long with no teahouse or toilets on the way. Also, it’s not so easy (read impossible) to find a friendly bush up there. The first restaurant we came across was at around 4000m.
You will pass by a monastery and a temple just before entering Muktinath. The entrance looks almost like a garden. It has been very busy when we were there, as many locals were completing their religious rituals at that time. According to our guide, it’s always that busy.
Muktinath is very small and no cars are allowed into the town. Ponies and motorbikes are used for transportation, but you can easily walk everywhere. We did some shopping, you can get here pretty much the same things here as you can get in Manang, but you will pay at least 30% more here. We tried to buy bottled coca cola in Muktinah, but after we were offered an expired coca cola bottle for the third time (all in different shops), we decided to go to a bar. Out of sight, out of mind.
We went to the Bob Marley bar and were pleasantly surprised by the nice atmosphere and good music. If you bring a flag, they may hang it up in there as decoration.
Muktinath is the last destination for many travellers before they return to Kathmandu. Many of them buy their bus tickets here. We have decided to fly from Jomsom instead, which requires one more day of walking or catching a bus. We also came across a bike rental place, who will take your luggage to Jomson while you get there by bike. The bikes are not too bad, so maybe that’s something to consider if you don’t feel like walking anymore. In any case, whatever the transportation mode, for the greater parts of the journey you will be using one and the same road, the only difference is the time needed to get to your destination.
- Moving time