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Monday, October 11, 2010

Nyalam to Tingre to Lhatse

The road up and out of Nyalam

Today we felt delirious with the altitude, but recovered after some chai and a bit of breakfast. We set off to drive up to the Lalung-La pass in better weather.

The road passes through many small towns with distinctive Tibetan architecture with Tibetan people still conscious of their cultural identity expressed in their traditional dress and in their way of being.

Wildflowers in the sparse ground cover

Going up to the pass took us to 5100 metres or around 16000 feet where we both got light-headed all over again and had to pant and drink litres of water to stop our blood systems closing down.

Lalung-la Pass

There are a large number of old fortifications
and ruined monasteries from the Chinese repression of Buddhism.

Another ruin in the distance

The scenery has been the usual unrelenting Tibetan roof of the world semi desert with snow capped mountains emerging from the clouds.

The Tibetan people of the countryside and small towns are largely very poor and beg for small change, but the architecture and clothing when they are wearing national dress which they do pride in is graphic.

Tingre Hotel courtyard

We stopped for lunch at Tingre at the hotel. The cooking is also surprisingly good - the Tingre restaurant had an automatic dishwasher although the long drop was mediaeval.

Long drop

Tingre lies in direct line of sight of Mt. Everest or Chomolungma, which under ideal conditions yu can even see in the main street, so after lunch I walked up the nearest hillside and took a series of views of the mountains.

However there was a big thunderstorm right in the line of sight of Everest, which you can see on the left in the panoramas below, so I have included a couple of internet views of Everest from a similar vantage point at Tingre.

Two views of Everest from Tingre

A shrine on the hill above Tingre

Those terrible Chinese rotary hoe cum tractors

Everywhere the roads were being upgraded for the Olympic games

A town we passed through

The next high pass between Tingre and Lhatse

Two-part circular panorama of the pass

By this afternoon we felt fine at 3500 metres and tonight things are pretty good at Lhatse at 4100 metres or 12500 feet. I came down the street to find an internet cafe by making typing motions. Everyone, including Red Army guys, are all playing world of war craft, and can't speak English so I came into the back room where I am using an exclusively Chinese speaking keyboard. More tomorrow.

Lhatse main street

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