Unlike our intense morning flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, the first day’s trekking was relatively easy; a warm-up, really. The route hugs the riverbed between Jomsom and Kagbeni, which for all purposes was nearly flat. The landscape reminded us of our time in Leh: bare, rocky mountains separated by a wide riverbed with little vegetation. It is a stark contrast to the lush green of the Pokhara area but one with an incredible beauty all of its own.
The day’s destination, the small Tibetan village of Kagbeni, lies below the upper Mustang region, a “forbidden kingdom” that becomes quite un-forbidden if you shell out $500 for a permit. We don’t have that sort of budget, so we could only gaze longingly toward it from our hotel in Kagbeni.
The trekking time for the day was 2 ½ hours. The air was markedly colder up there (a gain of 1900 meters, or 6200 feet from Pokhara to Jomsom accounts for that). After shivering upon arrival and quickly putting on all our warm clothing, we stripped most of it off once the sunlight reached the valley.
The trek’s altitude gain was a measly 80 meters (or 260 feet), which would prove to be a mere fraction of the altitude gain in the days to come. All in all it would turn out to be the easiest trekking of our trip – a way to get the ol’ legs warmed up for the road ahead.
You can check out some of the photo highlights of the day in the gallery below, or click here to check out all photos of Day 1.
You can also check out my Day 1 outtakes by clicking here. I just couldn’t get it together
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