We rode by bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara,
took a cab ride to the end of the road near Baglung,
and began trekking to the North up the Kali Ghandaki River
and around behind the Annapurna Peaks
to the Temples at Muktinath.
At Muktinath, a complex of both Hindu and Buddhist temples
surround a spring where an eternal natural flame dances
on the surface of the water, and 108 fountains pour blessings
on pilgrims from all over Nepal and India (and Petaluma).
This part of the trip was 12 days of walking, reaching
an altitude of 12,000 ft, staying each night in a simple teahouse.
Mountain peaks rise up to 26,000 ft on either side of
the Kali Ghandaki gorge, making it the deepest in the world.
From Muktinath, we walked back down to Jomoson, where a small
plane flew us back down to Pokhara. Having some extra time,
Lokendra invited us to visit his village.
A jungle bus ride ended at a river that we rode across on a basket
suspended from a cable. Then we walked a day and a half to his village
north of Arghat Bazaar, Northeast of Ghorka on this map.
We had rare and wonderful experiences there. Most of the village people
who welcomed us had not met westerners before, and we were as fascinating
to them as they were to us. They were very warm and friendly, like all
the people we met Nepal, and in the evening after dark, they brought out
lanterns and danced and sang for us.
If you like to hike, don't mind simple living conditions, and want to have the time
of your life, go trekking in the Himalayas with Lokendra.
To arrange trekking in Nepal:
© 2000 J Oliver Photography