Spending money and time on travel adventures feeds the soul. I see it as mental maintenance, an investment in yourself. And you best do that as much as you can, as young as you can.
12 days ago I arrived in Marpha, without a permit for my restricted area Upper Mustang adventure. My permit was getting luxury treatment and was due to arrive by plane from Kathmandu the next day. I had had to do with a 12 hour bumpy bus ride as all my money was spent on the permit. Walking from Marpha to Jomsom airport the next morning, I found out that my permit indeed had touched down in Jomsom, but that it also went straight back to Kathmandu on the return flight. Later flights that day were cancelled due to the wind, there was nothing left to do but wait..
Next day, it did make its way off the plane and I could finally enter Upper Mustang with what turns out, an expedition permit. Administratively I was part of a German camping expedition group because you cannot enter Upper Mustang as a single traveler, or without a guide for that matter. Given the hefty permit fee and the need for a guide, Upper Mustang was busier then I had expected. I met many, mostly French, retired couples travelling in groups and a relatively elderly german camping group ;). From what I saw, I was probably the youngest, lone traveller in these parts.
I walked on average 20 km per day through the barren mountains and desert plains of Upper Mustang. Meaning that I covered about 200 km from Kagbeni to the Tibetan border and back. Taking on about one to three 4000 meter passes per day in the process. Where most people I met got increasingly tired or worn-out as a trek went on, I got more energised with each passing day (although, I can’t give myself too much credit seeing as the high ratio of pension-aged travellers roaming these parts…). That being said, I am glad that I have undertaken this adventure before turning 30 instead of putting it on a list and waiting till I am over 60.
an unusual and exciting or daring experience.
The way i see it, no one escapes the life’s journey. We all venture between birth and death. It is your attitude towards this journey, that can make it either an ordeal or an adventure. I choose the adventure!
That was my newfound mountain wisdom for now.. :).
Ps. Pictures and stories of the beautiful Upper Mustang trek will be coming when I have better wifi connection!
- Postcard: Noyant d’Allier – August 2014 – Goddess of Wisdom
- Picture: North of Chhoser – October 2015 – View from the Tibetan border.
“Rising above all, mountains beckon and overwhelm with their sheer presence.”
– Jon Kabat-Zin