7/17/99 – Saturday – 6:30

Well we’re in Muktinath and it’s cloudy. We saw 3 peaks for just a minute this morning, but it’s foggy and raining. Keep getting interrupted, cuz the porter for the 3 Brits wants to chat. It was an ok trip up, Jeremy leading. Went up to the temple here, then climbed a hill, ate dinner, talked, played cards, and went to bed. Gotta eat breakfast now, so I’ll write later.

7:35
So we started from Kagbeni going uphill for quite a while. Towards%20Muktinath2_small[1]Towards%20Muktinath1_small[1]

That was tough, but then it leveled out near Khingar and Jarkot. Stopped in Karkot for awhile. I just sat there, the rest got drinks. I’ve kinda sworn off pop for awhile. We were expecting another 2 hours to Muktinath, but it turned out to be 30-45 mins. I think we made good time. Chortens%20near%20Muktinath_small[1]We checked into the Hotel North Pole, which actually had 24-hour electricity. We got a double for Danielle and a triple for the rest of us. Before we checked in we went to the checkpoint, and some British guys came up right behind us. They ended up at the North Pole too, so we talked to them a bit. Another 2 Brits came after them. They had all gone over the Thorung La yesterday. We ate lunch, then walked to the monastery, where fire, earth and water come together. It’s a Hindu and Buddhist Mecca. But it actually wasn’t very nice.

Muktinath%20fountains_small[1]Muktinath%20prayer%20flags_small[1]

We couldn’t find the fire, which was supposed to be a natural gas vent that continuously burned. Then we figured out that the candles behind a window were the eternal flame [as I wrote in the margin a couple days later, this is not true. There really is a small natural gas vent that burns constantly – we just never found it].

Danielle went back to the hotel, then we walked toward the Thorung La. The police checkpoint is no big deal, and I think we could have done the pass with our permits. We checked in, but our permits let us go past that point cuz it’s in the middle of Muktinath. Muktinath%20gate_small[1]There’s no other checkpoint until the other side of the pass. Jimmy and I climbed a hill, just so we could say we hit 4000 m. (the temple was at 3800 m.) We got back at 16:00 and ordered dinner for 18:30 and breakfast for 7:00. Then we sat here for 2 hours waiting for dinner.Above%20Muktinath_small[1]

We walked around a little after dark, then talked in Danielle’s room for a while. She was a little nervous so she, Jeremy and I went downstairs and played Spades. Went to bed about 9:30. We all slept ok. Got up at 6, talked to the porter for a while, ate breakfast, Jeremy witnessed to the porter, and now I’m journaling. That’s pretty much all. Feel pretty good about today’s walk down. I like having only 4 people. Wish we were gone longer from the group. I don’t think I’m going to like the trip down, cuz we’ve already been over that ground. Wish we could fly from Jomsom; much rather do that than Pokhara-KTM. 8:02

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