Trekking here is unlike trekking anywhere else in these great Asian mountains, with everything from wind-blasted valleys to chiselled canyons of red rock along the paths. My guides have already revealed mysterious Buddhist gompas and old stone-built teahouses hiding amidst the peaks. They say there are plenty more wonders to come.
Going beyond Annapurna and Dhaulagiri
As you enter the region, the winding channels of the Gandaki River can be seen carving through the hills, weaving past huge outcrops of mud-caked scree. I encountered the occasional apple orchard and swaying field of golden barley, all shrouded by windblown peaks that soar to more than 6,000 meters. It is simply wonderful!
From Kagbeni to Lo Manthang
We came here via the gateway town of Jomsom, located more than 2,700 meters up. After that, our guides took us through the flat-roofed villages of Chele and Dhakmar, where whitewashed cottages and rock-topped homes were separated by swathes of red canyons and toppling hoodoos.
Gompas, rock caves and canyons galore
But the joys of Upper Mustang didn't end there either. Once we'd departed the legendary capital of the Lo kings, there was still time to case out the sun-baked valleys of Tsarang and see the elegantly-painted Buddhist stupas peppering the ridges. Our trek also headed for the caverns and monasteries of Ghami, the primeval valleys of Eklobhatti, the crumbling ancient citadel at Tangbe – the list goes on!
It's truly bucket-list trip, and was all made possible thanks to the trekking guides and long time friends at Himalayan Guides.