September 24, 2008:
Trekking to Ghami via Ghar Gompa and Dhakmar
While Suzi was working at the local clinic, I was going on a hike for the next 4 days. Yam was going to
accompany me. Our plan was to backtrack back to Ghami vio Lo Gekar and the Ghar Gompa, then go
from Ghami to Dhi via Tsarang, visit the Luri Gompa on a daytrip from Dhi and then finally make our way
back to Lo Manthang. Lama Tenzin wanted to irst go with us to Luri Gompa, but the timing did not work
for him, but he told me that he would meet us in Dhi in a few days and accompany us on our way back to
Lo Manthang,
So I got up at 7 am, packed my backpack light
and left some space in there for Yam's
belongings. The rest of my stuff I left in the
lodge. We had breakfast again at the
coffeeshop. I had a potato omelet. Their tea
was really bad that morning and I did not
drink it. Very cloudy and tasted badly. Time to
clean the thermos!! After breakfast we left.
Outside of Lo Manthang, Yam realized he did
not have our permits with him. So he went
back to the lodge to get them, just in case we
would need them.
By the time we left the outskirts of Lo Manthang it
was 8:30 am. We went towards the southwest
and slowly gained altitude. After an hour or so we
reached the Austrian group. They had left earlier
than us and were also going to Lo Gekar. We
continued through a valley which reminded me of
our hike in Tibet a year ago. Once we reached
about 4,000 meters, we saw some yaks. The
valley finally made a southern turn and soon we
were up on the pass, the Chogo La at 4,230 m, 2
hours and 45 minutes after we left Lo Manthang.
Another hour of descend brought us to Lo
Gekar where we visited the Ghar Gompa.
The Ghar Gompa is the oldest monastery in
Mustang. It dates back to the 8th century
and was built by Guru Rinpoche, the
founder of Tibetan Buddhism. In the main
chapel, there is a huge statue of Maitreya,
the Future Buddha. More Germans here
again, a group which came up from
Tsarang. After visiting the gompa, Yam and
I climbed up a little towards our next pass,
sat down and had our packed lunch. This
time the eggs were not spoiled.
Right before we left Lo Manthang we saw the German group again from a day ago. I was curious where
they were going so I asked them. One of the ladies said: "We are going home, there are not as many
Germans there". I thought that was funny.
We climbed up further and further again to the
next pass, we had to cross, the Mui La at
4,170 m. We reached the top at about 2 pm.
From there, we were descending a narrow
valley towards Dhakmar. It was like walking
through a theme park. The erosion had left
lots of bizzarre rock creations and formations.
It was a beautiful sight: The color of the rocks
from brown to grey to red and the blue sky
towering over everything. Spectacular.
We got to Dhakmar. Here, in the cliffs surrounding the village,
were many more caves. But unfortunately, none were open to the
public. We continued on through the beautiful landscape. A little
further on, a group approached us. From far away I recognized
the leader of this group, a Brazilian who I also met 2 years ago
during my Everest Base Camp trek. I stopped and said hi to him.
He also remembered me and we talked for a while. Small world.
We continued our descent
towards Ghami amid beautiful
scenery. We finally arrived in
Ghami at 4:45 pm, more than 8
hours since we left Lo Manthang.
We went to the same guesthouse
again and I got the room Suzi had
a couple of nights before. From
the rooftop we had great views of
the Annapurna Range.
After putting our stuff into the room, we went to the dining room. Yam had a well-deserved tato pani (hot
water) and I had a well-deserved Tuborg! At 6 pm we ordered dinner. I had a tomato soup and then chow
mein with veggies. Around 7 pm, the family got their food served. Just like last time, the old man got
served everything first. Went to bed quite early, around 8:30 pm as I was tired. Around midnight, the dogs
of Ghami started their barking spectacle. I had visions of shooting those bastards one by one! It finally
was quiet around 3 am and I slept until about 6 am.
Yam on Chogo La
Descending towards Lo Gekar and Ghar Gompa