We started from Gorakhpur – Mishraji’s home at 6 AM after a cup of tea. The road from Gorakhpur till Sunauli border is smooth and it takes around 2 hours with stops to reach the border.
Near the border the road entering Nepal is blocked by huge line of trucks waiting for permits. Almost all private vehicles take the wrong side to reach the border and the cross over to Nepal.
At the border crossing is quite easy and paper work is hassle free. We got our Bhansar and Road Tax Permit in 1 hour. We got a Nepali sim card with unlimited internet and started moving towards Pokhara.
After crossing over, we called Babu and Suman. They started from Kathmandu and we planned to meet at Mungling, where the road separates for Sunauli. Mungling is where Prithivi highway meets Mahendra highway.
We reached Mungling in the afternoon and had lunch – the first Thakali Thali with fresh fish from the river. Finally at 3 PM our friends arrived and we moved on towards Pokhara. We called up Billabong Hotel for a dorm room and reached there by evening.
It has been a long day and finally enjoyed the pubs around Phewa Lake and planned for the adventure ahead.
The weather forecast was a clear sky from later part of the day. We we destined to move at high altitude to 3600 m ASL and stay the night in holy Muktinath – Ranipauwa. We started from Jomsom after breakfast and the roads is relatively in great shape except few bad patches. After you cross Kagbeni, the road changes to a black top smooth tarmac and you start your climb up an up. The views are brilliant all the way and in matter of couple of hours with several stops we reach Muktinath.
Early morning scene in Jomsom
Somewhere between Jomsom and Kagbeni
A stop before the climb up
Looking towards Upper Mustang
While cars are not allowed inside Ranipauwa-Muktinath in day time, you have to park them at the huge parking lot at the start of the town and then start walking or take a pony ride to the temple. I decided to walk, while Babu and Suman went ahead on motorcycle. Make sure you take the cold holy bath at the temple and it will challenge your adventures soul to the limit.
Both walking and motorcycle ride takes same time to reach the temple. Actually if you are relatively fit enough, walking is faster. Remember that the altitude of the place is 3600 m ASL.
After the temple, we moved back to Ranipauwa and found a good hotel in the main street. We did little local shopping and mostly clicked pictures of the amazing natural surroundings.