Grazing at 4010 Meters
Reporting live from Upper Mustang: We've successfully hiked in and out of this remote, inaccessible region in north-central Nepal over terrain that was variously bleak and spectacular. We traversed rocky, sandy trails (I use that word loosely) through shale and limestone cliffs with only the occasional, teasing glimpse of a snow-covered peak. On the 7th day of walking 6-7 hours per day, the weather turned against us and we battled howling winds and freezing rain for the better part of an afternoon. Over the past week your faithful reporter has endured blisters, sunburn, intestinal parasites, an upper respiratory infection and a mild concussion (damn monastery door frames built for short people). Despite the aforementioned maladies there were some really bright moments along the way and the Tibetan/Nepali families we stayed with welcomed us into their humble kitchens and homes. I return to modern city life with a renewed appreciation for the simple comforts of indoor plumbing and reliable electricity. [Pictured: a herd of goats grazes at 4010 meters over Nyi La Pass - the highest point in the Kingdom of Mustang.]
By Arwen Joyce, AFAR Local Expert
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Jomsom 33100, Nepal