A friend, Rabi Thapa, a writer from Nepal, showed up in the street in Jomsom just before as the first Mustang Trail Race (2013) was coming to an end, with weary runners hiking into the village main street. Nice to see friends by chance!
From his journey with his partner to Lo for the Teeji festival which happened towards the end of May, he wrote an article for The National, in the UAE.
He sets the scene very well. This is what you are presented with as you leave Jomsom heading North:
“It’s hard to believe that this valley was once at the bottom of the Tethys Sea. In this high-altitude, wind-scoured desert of crumbling rocks, nothing seems farther than the ocean. Yet the evidence is everywhere. Colossal slabs of sedimentary rock folded over each other tell of the collision 50 million years ago between the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan Plateau that pushed the Himalayas nine kilometres into the sky.”
You can see more of the landscape in the Mustang Trail Race trailer video.
His destination was the Teeji festival in Lo. Tricky to find a bed for the night there as the festival gets ever more popular year on year. Rather than the simple, if comfortable, lodges, the lucky will find a homestay where they can experience regular life in Lo.
The festival is colourful, noisy and enjoyable:
“Monks in elaborate silks and headdresses then perform a long sequence of ritual dances. But most enjoyable are the masked “demons”, whose lurching forays into the crowd are calculated to inspire both terror and laughter.”
Read the full article by Rabi Thapa as he treks to Mustang, Nepal here on The National website.