The walk from Jomsom to Kagbeni is an easy four hours along the flat Kali Gandaki river valley. Many people now cover this stretch by jeep as we had done on our previous Annapurna trek. But this time we did it on foot to acclimatize to the altitude and get back in the habit of walking.
Kagbeni is a medieval village with houses in a tight cluster, with narrow paths snaking between and sometimes under them. Graphic male and female fertility statues stand at the north and south entrances (pictures on request).
A large gompa (Tibetan Buddhist monastery) dominates the village. We enjoyed the paintings and the dancing masks, and we were amused by the presence of a Chinese prosperity pig at the center of the altar. The inscription “be as rich as you wish” sounded like a plea for donations.