World of Pinlock:
After passing the lively city of Pokhara, we continue over an asphalt road. But after about 60km (37 miles) the asphalt stops and the road quickly gets steeper. The rice terraces make way for Himalayan giants like the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna, covered in snow and glaciers. Between these mountains, the ‘Kali Gandaki’ snakes its way through the landscape. By many accounts the deepest ravine in the world. For many centuries this route was the only way for trading caravans between Nepal and Tibet. For now, it is an important passage on our way to Lo Mantang. While avoiding potholes and rocks, we keep climbing steadily. Every hairpin turn grants a spectacular view of the Annapurna.
After visiting Ghar Gumba, one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Nepal, we head to the 4,23km (13.877 feet) high Marang La pass. The altitude is clearly noticeable, the road gets steeper, the abyss deeper and the air feels thinner. At some points, the road is so steep or in such bad shape that even the Royal Enfield cannot take it. That means getting off the bike and pushing it uphill to a place where it can continue climbing by itself. Once on top of the Marang La, the reward is worth it; a magnificent view of the snowy Himalayan mountain tops around us.
After the descent, we climb back up the next mountain between two cliffs, like a natural gate. Behind this pass, the road is a fesh-fesh dusty road. When the dust settles down, we can see Lo Manthang in the valley below. The magnificent walled capital city of the kingdom of Lo. When you look even further, you can see Tibet lying in the distance.
When we reach the top of the Kora La, we have a magnificent view of the Tibetan highlands and Tibet (China). right in front of us is the border with Tibet. No border patrol, no markings, no one would stop us from entering.
Mustang, the former Kindom of Lo, lies in a remote and isolated part of the Himalaya. Upper Mustang lies at the border of Tibet and covers two-thirds of the area of the former Kindom of Lo (Möntang in Tibetan). Up until 1992, Upper Mustang was off limits for tourists. After that, it could only be reached by foot. In part because of this, Mustang has remained in pristine condition for centuries.
Expedition Leader Travel2Explore