by site editor Rick McCharles
After 15 days continuous hiking on Manaslu and Annapurna, I was pleased to be able to saddle up on a mountain bike.
Mustang Mountain Bikes opened in Muktinath in 2012. It’s run by Jurriaan Prakke (NED) and a Nepali partner.
Most ride Muktinath 3760m 1 day down to Jomson 2800m (airport). Or 2 days down to the hotsprings at Tatopani 1190m. I paid $30 / day for a “basic bike” to the hot springs. Money well spent. 🙂
Jurriaan, the owner, was riding down same day as me. We set off together.
Downhill, dry and open, cycling is fairly easy on the Tibetan plateau.
I stopped often for photos.
Mustang gave me recommendations on where to eat. And where to sleep en route. Much appreciated.
Jurrian himself had recommended “Applebees” in Kagbeni, my favourite village the last time I hiked Annapurna.
This is the gateway to the (formerly) forbidden Kingdom of Lo Mustang, getting more popular with trekkers in recent years.
I wandered Kagbeni for an hour or more. It’s a very interesting town.
Descending, I often needed to decide whether to take the river (easier) or the road (higher & dustier). Most often I opted for river, sometimes to my grief.
There was a fair bit of hike-a-bike in these sections.
I stopped in the big city of Jomson for lunch. And to check email.
Then continued on to the recommended stop at Marpha.
Marpha is wonderful.
Then climbed up above town.
Tourism, apple growing and mule rearing are the means of survival.
All the Mustang rental cyclists that day stayed in the recommended guesthouse in Marpha. Room price was only $1. Lodges on this side of the Annapurna Circuit were mostly empty, trekkers now flying out of Jomson. Or catching motor vehicles down the mountain.
One hope for the future is mountain biking getting more popular
All-in-all, that was one fantastic cycling day. 🙂
One sour note … On a late night walk through Marpha a healthy dog decided to playfully nip my Achilles. Not appreciated, I can tell you. I’ve never taken the 3 shots required for Rabies.
see high resolution photos from this day on flickr