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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

More on Tibet

After a couple more days in Tibet 7 of us booked a mini bus to take us out of the city into the countryside. We were only allowed to do this if accompanied by a guide. Fortunately we got a Tibetan guide rather than our usual Chinese guide. We found out later that our Chinese guide had reported the Tibetan guide for not speaking clearly to us! We were going to Nantsu Lake which is the  highest salt lake in the world at 4718m.

The lake was about 230km south of Llasa so quite a journey. To get to the lake we had to cross the Largen La pass which was at 5190m. It wasn't long after this photo was taken that I had to have oxygen. As I had suffered a lot since arriving in Tibet thankfully I had taken a cylinder with me.
The scenery was spectacular and I was able to see the snow capped mountains. I was very surprised to learn that the snow line is about 6500m, much higher than I expected. Crossing the high plateaus we saw lots of yaks and mountain goats grazing on the mountainside. We also passed a large gathering of nomad tribes who had got together for a festival and had set up their camp which looked like a small city of tents. Our guide stopped the minibus near a couple of nomad tents and asked if we could go inside.

The children were as inquisitive as we were.

Inside their one tent I could only see  one large cookig pot. They kept the fire going all the time using dried yak dung for fuel. There was an opening at the top of the tent to allow the smoke to escape.

Here you can see the thin strips of yak cheese being smoked. I thought they were the intestines of the yak but the guide assured me it was cheese.

The prayer wheel is easily to hand.

I was surprised how light it was inside the tent but the weave of the yak fabric allowed the light to shine through. It was quite cosy inside but very small.

7 family members shared this tent. The men had taken the yak herd to graze in the surrounding hills.
The nomads are totally dependent upon the yak for their shelter, warmth and food: milk, cheese, butter, beer (made from butter which is absolutely vile - in my opinion!) and eventually meat which they dry so it keeps better. The tribes are being encouraged to go to the towns during the winter so that the children can attend school. China has built numerous schools and there is free education for all children. A number of tribes are not happy about going to the towns for lengthy periods as there is nowhere for them to look after their herds of yak so for many life continues as it always has  over the centuries.

We said our goodbyes and continued our journey to the lake.


  1. Oh my goodness, what an amazing experience! So primitive and yet, as you say, it's what they know and prefer.

    Wow. xx

  2. You took some really good pictures. The woman's face shows such beautiful lines, high cheekbones especially. The air inside the tent was certainly not very easy to breathe, it seems. Thanks for sharing these.

  3. Wow, what a fascinating trip! I would love to have experienced that! Thanks for sharing it with us! :o)


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