Day 14 - Kagbeni to Marpha and Jomsom

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April 24th 2019
Published: May 9th 2019
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07:00 start and I asked Sudarshan about the feasibility of going to Marpha and then trekking back from there to Jomsom to replace the Kagbeni to Jomsom leg. He said that was possible but in his opinion the track for both options was all on the road and very dusty and he suggested we go back to Jomsom on the jeep and he could take us on a better trail off the dusty roads in Jomsom. I put the proposal to the youngsters but Mitch and Nick still seemed pretty keen on completing the scheduled trek but in the end after discussing it with Krissy they decided to join Vicki and I in going all the way to Marpha.

We set off at 08:00 with Vicki and I sharing the middle seat with Ganesh and Suman, a bit squishy but it was only 30 minutes to Jomsom where the porters all left and took the bags off before we continued onto Marpha, another 30 minutes away.

We arrived around 09:05 and walked through the narrow cobblestones streets. Marpha was architecturally quite different to the other villages we had visited. All the walls were white washed and the buildings had very low ceilings. We visited a couple of shops and made a few small purchases before walking futher up the village and seeing the painted white stupa on the cliff-face and the old monastery which is also built off the cliff-face. There is also a monastery here but it was decided to not inspect and see the larger one in Pokhara instead. We left Marpha around 10:00.

On arrival at the Hotel Himalayan, it was too early for lunch so we decided to explore Jomsom, except for Vicki who decided to go to a café near the airport and watch the planes take-off. There really isn’t too much to see in Jomsom, we looked in a couple of small shops and decided to have some cake and biscuits in a shop called Modern Bakery. I was looking at the Maps.Me app and noticed something called the Stone Maze, which we had all noticed from afar whilst driving into Jomsom.

By now it was 11:35 and we had told Sudarshan we’d be back at 12:30 for lunch and the map was saying it would 25 minutes walk so we decided we had enough time and walked over to the stone maze. I have since found out that the maze or labyrinth was built by a sculpture artist Andrew Rogers who builds similar structures all around the world. It was quite big and reminded me of the Inca ruins in South America. Mitch decided to climb up a hill next to the maze and I climbed up a little way to get a better photo of the maze. Whilst Mitch was climbing to the top he find a nice fossilized stone.

We got back to the hotel at 12:40 and had lunch and the wind had picked up considerably so we decided not to do the proposed Lake hike. The youngsters decided to go back to the maze and search for more fossils, Vicki stayed to relax and listen to music and I stayed to catch up on the blog and photos.

The youngsters returned at 17:00 as arranged and we put in our dinner orders for a 18:15 dinner. Nick, Krissy and I decided to share some pop corn and a small marsala tea pot which cost 3 times a single cup but we managed to get about 9 cups of tea, so was good value for money.

Dinner was all good at this hotel as well. The fact that we could now order chicken safely, made the world of difference to my enjoyment of the last two days meals. A vegetarian I will never be. After dinner we put together our tips for our support staff. Mitch managed to find some envelopes and it was decided that each person would make their own decision as to how much to give to each person, based on the help they had received during the hike.

Just as we finished that, another group who were also celebrating their last trek day started playing Nepalese music, and danced and clapped, so we all quickly decided it was time to go to our rooms. Today, Mitch decided to bunk in with Nick and Krissy because our assigned room had a very mouldy smelling bathroom and he had had a bad night last night because of a similar bathroom. So I had a room to myself tonight which was right next to where the group were dancing and hollering. Luckily, they stopped around 20:00.

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