5 May 2014:
Today we descend by jeep from Muktinath to Jomsom. The route with the jeep is quite spectacular. Obviously a bad road, but an alternation of houses, desert and semi-oasis, through and over rivers. We take a shortcut by taking the jeep for this part, which is supposedly not the best hikeable part.
Upon arrival in Jomsom, it turns out that there are no buses running. The bus drivers went on strike and no one knows for how long. It would have to do with the fact that the locals pelt the buses because they prefer to take tourists at higher rates than the poor locals.
We don’t interfere with it. We see if we can find a jeep down, but the question of supply and demand leads to absurd prices. We decide to walk. After all, we’ve been doing that for days and we’re in no rush.
What is disappointing is the wind: it is very strong and blows the dust right through everything. But gradually we come to villages with beautiful oases, waving wheat fields and flowering fruit trees. White villages and piles of firewood stand out against the brown mountain slopes.
Just past Marpha we find a nice and extraordinarily comfortable guesthouse with a fantastic yak steak. Buses may run again tomorrow. But maybe not. We’ll see. We’re here now!
Read more about my Annapurna Circuit trek:
Annapurna Circuit dag 13: Muktinath – Marpha