Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tibet Day 3: Road to Gyantse - Yamdrok-Tso Lake

The road to Gyantse takes you to Yamdrok-Tso Lake. After winding up the mountain for an hour, you reach the overlook to the stunningly blue lake at the summit of the Kamba-la pass (4794m). The lake is below the road at 4488m. In one direction, the lake is deeply turquoise, in another a vivid deep blue.

Vendors abound with offers of yak rides (that would be posing on the yak), pictures with the local breed of dog (sadly adorned with a fuzzy cuff around their necks), and plastic beads from China tricked out to look Tibetan.

Unfortunately, the old road from Lhasa to Gyantse is under construction, so it's back down the hill the same way we came up. While the trip up was winding and slow, we seemed to fly down the hill towards our lunch at a roadside restaurant -- food OK, service barely keeping up with the clientele, the bathrooms - well, just don't look or breathe.

The hillsides on the way back down the mountain are grazing lands for yak and sheep herds. We loved seeing the herds spinning wool on hand spindles as they walked and talked.

And in case you wonder how you travel as a party of 6 on a Tibetan Expeditions private tour ... here's our van. Good vehicle, great driver, decent seats and suspension, always interesting music.

Link back to the beginning of the October 2007 Tibet trip at: Planning for Tibet, Arriving in Tibet and Off to Tsetang, Tibet Day 2: Tsetang and Tibet Day 2: Journey to Samye

Link to Tibet Day 3: Continuing on the Road to Gyantse

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