Is this you first time travelling upper Mustang?
No worries I have mentioned all my experiences of my ride or tour. That may be helpful to you.
Here it goes.
This was my second time travelling to Mustang. It was two years ago when me and a brother of mine from Flo Riderz family, Shashank, rode up to Jomsom. After that, we drove in four wheelers with my parents as my dad used to work in Myagdi at that time. But now, we were travelling to Upper Mustang. So then all of us made plans, decided the dates and I informed all Flo Riderz members. Most of them were interested in a ride to the forbidden kingdom. However, only four of us could make it until the final date. Therefore, we estimated our budget, maintained our rides, fueled it up and geared up to have some unforgettable moments of our life.: A Ride to Upper Mustang.
Day 1: Kathmandu to Myagdi District
Three rides. Four people! Well, I had to ride as a pillion because of the poor condition of my bike. So we began our journey on the day of Biswakarma Puja (September 19). I was feeling sick and bit nauseous since the morning but we started anyway as it was my dream ride and I was so much excited that I decided to get some medicines on the way. We moved around 8 in the morning and had lunch at Kurintar.
The interesting thing was the hotel where we had our lunch was named ‘Mustang’ too. Co-incidence? Haha. Maybe. We took it as a good sign. That day we rode up to Beni in Myagdi as my dad’s posting was there. I requested him if he could arrange for our night stay. He did book a nice and comfortable lodge near his office for use, however, as soon as we got there, I started to feel really very weak. I had to take some salted water as well as some medicines since I suffered from severe diarrhoea and vomiting both. While my friends attended dinner with my dad and his friends, I was bound to have some rest. In a nutshell, the night saw some happy stomachs of my friends and pretty bad stomach of mine.
Day 2: Myagdi to Ranipauwa, Muktinath Temple
6:30 am, I opened my eyes and I felt a bit better. I took some medicines anyway, just in case. We were just starting to get ready when my dad showed up with some bad news. Apparently, there was this wooden bridge which was destroyed by a giant waterfall called ‘Rupche Besi’ and that it was impossible to cross over that waterfall. All of us got panicked but my dad suggested us to go further and see if there’s any way to go or maybe even if we could carry our bikes on big trucks. We had already travelled more than half way and my dad did not want us to return back just like that without even trying.
Hence we decided and moved on from Myagdi at around 9. We went up to Rupche Besi enjoying the chilled weather, clicking few photos and videos and got there around noon. Lucky us to find the water volume has decreased. There were a couple of local people who offered to help as they knew the place pretty well but NRs 500 each! For three bikes! Initially we decided to take bikes on our own but of course, we had the long way to go and we did not want to risk our journey by messing up with water and bike so we made a deal for NRs 1000. After that, we had our lunch at ‘Lete’.
It was amazing to travel along with those magnificent beauties of nature, the small waterfalls, all those greeneries around the hills, the cobblestone roads and obviously the snow covered mountains. All right in front of us!! Yet it just lasted for a couple of hours and the sandy rocky roads started to be a part of our journey until we reached Jomsom. It is a small but very advance place, perfect for tourism, with internet facilities, airport and all.
We fueled up our bike there as we were not sure if we would get to any petrol stations later even though we had to pay the high price for it. Moving further, we reached Kagbeni, a beautiful place where one can see green trees and plants amongst sands and rocks. Determined to visit one of the most famous Holy places, Muktinath, we started going uphill from Kagbeni to Ranipauwa and spent a night there.
Day 3: Ranipauwa to Ghami
Last night was a little bit crazy for me. High altitude sickness and I were running low on energy. We started to question our ride because the altitude of Muktinath was around 3500 meters and proceeding towards Upper Mustang, we need to be prepared for 4000+ meters. After some discussions and suggestions from the lodge owner of Ranipauwa, who had experience of Upper Mustang, we decided to go forward but before that, we went and worshipped Muktinath temple praying for our successful journey and success of every other journey our life will take us to. We gazed the mesmerising beauty of that place and spent some time there.
After coming back to the lodge and a nice cup of tea, we left Ranipauwa to downhill Kagbeni. We checked our tyre pressure and other bike conditions to head forward to even bad terrain and decided to have some noodles for breakfast, as we left kagbeni to the south, we met our first obstacle of loose rocks to uphill. Somehow we managed to go up since it was not that difficult but as we left ‘Tangbe’ and ‘Chusang’, we reached the bridge of ‘Chele’.
The problem was the bridge was only for pedestrians and there only a few cemented surfaces to take our bikes up to that bridge and cross it. By hook or by crook, we did it. I had enough time to take pictures- an advantage of being a pillion! The other obstacle was the stiff climb after Chele. The climb was one of the beauties but it was very hard. Our bikes even took all of their efforts to climb that hill as the terrain was much sandy. We had to cross almost one foot thick of sand. But after that, we reached ‘Samar’.
Also Check out our Trip to Rara Lake, Mugu
Truth to be told, I had never seen such a beautiful place in my life, ever! I remembered people saying they found heaven on earth but I had just witnessed that. It is a no life hill with green trees and grasses with probably two or three houses and a Gumba. But the main thing was the small canal with the clear flowing of cold water. We couldn’t leave that place so we stayed there for an hour and enjoyed every piece of nature.
As we were having the dried foods that we brought from our homes when a friend of ours started to nosebleed, which was also a sign of high altitude sickness. Anyway, we didn’t lose hope, though. So, again we started going forward and the more we went, the rougher terrain we tackled. But there was this steep stone slapped road and even the four wheelers won’t use that route and passengers going Upper Mustang would change the vehicle from that place.
And again, we started having doubt in our journey. We stayed there for some moment staring that steep as our bikes were already going crazy, not even climbing a small hill. We all thought we ran out of our clutch plates because the bikes were acting weird. Out of nowhere a local guy and girl showed up on their bike and they inspired us to go with them. After a while, we found ourselves in the road of the desert.
Yeah! Some places were hard for us but that guy helped us a lot. After leaving ‘Syangboche’, ‘Tama gaon’, we reached to ‘Nyala’. It was really dark when we got there. Fifteen minutes later, we reached ‘Ghami’ and the same guy we met before arranged a good place for our stay. We had our dinner and went back to the room. Lying on the bed was heaven. But we started questioning whether to go forward as it was the most hectic day and our bikes were dying too.
Day 4: Ghami to Jomsom
So literally none of us slept last night. We were panicked by the terrain after all that effort by us and the bikes upto the point. Our bikes were already running low on torque and we figured out that was because of low oxygen ratio. Our bikes were not adapting the temperature and no experts were there to tune the carburettor according to the situation. So we gave up the hope of taking our bike to last village ‘Lo-manthang’. Instead we decided to take a bus to visit our destination but unfortunately, there was only one bus that would run through that route for the whole day and we had already missed that one too.
Basically, all the circumstances forced us to return back wistfully for not being able to get to our destination even though we were so close. Searching for what went wrong in our unsuccessful journey we returned back but it was not that easy either. We had to struggle in many places and we gave all our effort. But the route that took us 11 hours to travel yesterday only took about eight hours while returning back even though we were resting and taking our own time like yesterday.
So finally we reached Jomsom around 4 in the evening. We were so happy to see so many people and vehicles around. The night was of regret and celebration. Regret, that we could not reach our destination and celebration, for making out that far and got a chance to see such beauty of mother nature. Thus, that night, we just boozed ourselves.
Day 5: Jomsom to Pokhara
Probably we boozed a bit more last night and we were in the hangover. However, we had our breakfast, freshened up ourselves and began our journey back to home. The views and the sceneries were exciting as before but the only thing was we were leaving that place. We had our lunch in Myagdi, met my father as well and saying goodbye we headed back. After leaving Myagdi District and riding for a while we found the pitched road. Riding on those tough terrains for last 4 days we couldn’t resist ourselves. Hence, we stopped our bikes and felt the tarmac for a while. Obviously, we like to ride in every terrain but I think we were used to luxury and at that time that tarmac was one.
Taking the joy of ride in tarmac we reached Pokhara at evening and the main thing everyone wanted was a good food. Since our ride, we were on noodles or straight rice and lentils. So we parked our bikes, threw our bags in the lodge and went for some good food with the therapy for the stress of long ride which is some good drinks.
Day 6: Pokhara to Kathmandu
The last morning of our journey was not quite exciting as we were returning back but at some point, we were happy that we and our bikes would also get rest after so much of travel. Riding for 5 long days from dawn to dusk had made our ass solid as a rock. So we had some breakfast and checked out from our lodge and headed back to home. We had our lunch in Damauli and we came straight back to our home enshrining all the memories we took from this long ride.
Yes, those terrains, sceneries, people and the ride itself were unforgettable for us. We added one more exciting and thrilling ride to the pages of our lives. So we took nothing from there or anywhere but memories and left nothing but footprints.
Don’t forget to check out our Ride to Upper Mustang Video.