We had a fairly late start to the morning, with breakfast being served at 9am, ready for our hike to start at 10am. While we all marvelled at Tom’s bar bill we ate some French Toast and caught up with the world’s news via the hotel’s wifi.
The path from Muktinath started along a dirt road and then quickly split off into a grass field that was quite damp underfoot. Seeing the grass was a lovely change and we took a few minutes to relax in the sunshine.
This is the last grass we’d see on this day. After crossing the field we crossed a stream and followed a footpath over a few more man made culverts until we emerged on a tarmac road, the best we had seen yet in Nepal.
We followed this road steeply down hill, past the “Selfie Cafe” and all the way to Kagbeni.
On emerging Kagbeni we descended some stone steps, avoiding a young lady who was herding cows up the stairs, and made our way to the Hotel Nilgiri View, our home for the night.
Right away we ordered food and were surprised by the range of food available. The food was all very fresh and we actually saw the cook go out into the garden and harvest some vegetables specifically for us.
After lunch we were taken for a tour of the local monastery. For an entry fee of 200 rupees a monk lead us into a 1000 year old monastery and showed us the sacred statues of Buddha and a 700 year old sacred text that was encased in a glass display case. This area was forbidden to take photos. Afterwards we were lead to a more public and modern area where people were clearly allowed to come to religious services. Thankfully we were allowed to take photos here.
Afterwards we left the temple and were shown the valley that the town was built in. The river waters flow here from Tibet and carry a deep religious meaning for people who have lost loved ones.
Afterwards, we toured the village, which felt a lot like being transported back to some medieval times. The statue on display was especially amusing!
We decided to venture outside the teahouse for dinner to the amusingly named Yac Donalds and sampled their Happy Meal, a yac burger, fries, coleslaw and seabuck thorn juice. It was probably one of the best meals of the trip and is strongly recommended.
In typical Nepali fashion, however, despite being promised wifi and warm showers, the water to the rooms was broken and the electricity shut down around mid afternoon. We were also “treated” to some sort of party going on outside our room until the early hours. Hopefully we would get better facilities the following day!