The race ends in Muktinath but we still have to reach Jomsom by the evening. Muktinath is a good place to end the race. Upper Mustang is over at the last pass, and Lower Mustang begins with hustle and bustle of pilgrims and tourist around the Muktinath temple. There is 3G signal, the temple to visit, beer, yak steak if you so desire, and so on. And, usefully, there is a terrace in the sun at the Bob Marley Hotel and Reggae Restaurant from which to watch runners finish!
But still to get to Jomsom… experience shows that after the final finish line has been crossed, most people are ready to sit on a bus. Sensible perhaps. But if your body can take it, hike the last 18 km. There’s some climb – but nothing compared to what you’ve been through already, and more of the great scenery including the huge slab cliffs seen in the picture above. You can pass through Lupra, a quiet, well-hidden village, or bypass it. The final 5 km gives you a final blast of afternoon wind in the face in the main Kali Gandaki Valley to Jomsom.
Why not do it? Complete the loop on foot. The only downside is that you might miss the hottest shower water in the hotel as the solar heating works less well in the afternoon – just find the shower with the electric geyser.
So at the finish, prepare yourself mentally to get up and go before all those waiting for the bus or jeeps, find some team mates to hike with you and head off with a litre of water in your pack.
See you in Jomsom!