Monday, January 30, 2012

Asian Adventure Day 25: Yak Burger with Fries

Mustang Trek Day 10
Chele (3100 m) to Kagbeni (2800 m)

Today was a lazy day with only 3 hours of walking but more importantly it was our last day of the trek and we would rejoin relative civilization and the Annapurna Circuit in Kagbeni.

The trail followed the river, zigzagging up and down the hillside. It is funny how walking from a village at 3100 m to a town at 2800 m still involves several hundred meters of up and down.

Statue welcoming you to Kagbeni

View back to Mustang

Despite our best efforts to walk slow we arrived in Kagbeni just in time for lunch. We attempted to check into the Paradise Hotel but when we mentioned that we wanted to eat lunch elsewhere (we would be eating dinner there afterall) they refused to give us a room. Knowing that there was no shortage of guesthouses and very few tourists in sight, we abandoned our bags in the lobby and headed out to find lunch.

We knew exactly where we wanted to eat - Yac Donalds! After 25 days of curry, dal bhat and momos we celebrated the end of our trek with yak burgers, fries and fresh squeezed apple juice.

Yac Donalds


Yak Burger and Fries

Kagbeni, with its population of 1200 people, is a bustling city compared to the villages of Mustang. It was quite a treat to spend the afternoon exploring town, checking out the services that were available and chatting with other trekkers. In addition to the Yak Donalds, the town boasted several souvenir shops, a (fake) Seven-Eleven convenience store and a couple bakeries. We couldn't resist further gorging ourselves and had enjoyed a mid-afternoon coffee with apple pie. It seemed absolutely posh to be someplace that served real European coffee after ten days of nothing but tea!

Coffee and Apple Pie

Local gathering spot

Portable Convenience Store

Rush Hour


Yak cheese

Watch dog
Leather Gate

Kagbeni is also home to a large monastery which we visited once the winds became too unbearable to spend time outside.


Prayer Wheel

Prayer Wheels

Ceremonial Mask

Ceremonial Mask


We returned to the Paradise Hotel where they happily gave us a room since, not surprisingly, we were the only guests they had for the evening.

Being the only guests, we got to eat dinner in the kitchen and watch television with the hostesses and our guide. They were kind enough to let Dave have the remote so right away he turned to the Discovery Channel which was showing a 2012 Doomsday program. When the program began to show the hypothetical destruction of Los Angeles I noticed that all of the Nepalis in the room seemed genuinely fearful - then one of them asked if that really happened. I guess we are so desensitized to this type of programming you forget that some people may not be able to discern fact from fiction. Dave then changed the program to a blockbuster movie on HBO which was a lot easier to recognize as fantasy.

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