This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution in the 2006 journey, click to the left or right of an image in blog mode.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To Lhasa via Yamdrock-Tso

Summer harvests across Tibet

After continuing troubles with our Tibetan tour guide, we agreed to pay an additional 300 Y or about $60 NZ to get the driver to go up one of the two passes which were closed to traffic because of road construction for the upcoming Beijing Olympics, which we hoped would have a view of the mountains as well as a lake renowned for its turquoise colour.

Our car had two young Austrians and the two of us and we agreed to pay the price out of solidarity. We would have normally gone over this pass directly from Gyantse which was what caused a lot of the disputes over backtracking to Shigatse and additional expenses for the drivers.

Once again I have included enough photographs so you are able to make pretty much the whole journey we made yourself.

The road first passes over high flat tundra surrounded by snow-capped mountains with a number of crops from the wheat harvest to forestry.

Small Tibetan settlements by the wayside

Many of the settlements along the river have extensive irrigated fields

The road to Lhasa now wound precipitously through the Brahmaputra gorge.

The gorge is notorious for rock falls. There were heaps of heavy rock falls littering the road. Fortunately none fell on us as we drove through.

We now turned off into what looked like a foggy white out, but our investment proved good as we wound up a steep set of hairpins in brilliant sunshine leaving the gorge and its towns far below.

Just as we came to the top there was fog, but only enough to add aura to the view of stunningly torquoise Yamdrock-tso lake below winding through snow and cloud capped mountains.

An internet view of the same scene with the mountains more visible and more snowbound.

There were trinkets for sale as well as Yak rides. There we bought a set of Chines sexy love bones, just like the ones in the photo in Shigatse market when they pushed them on to us for 8 yen, having started somewhere near 20.

Madly there we a bunch of middle-aged cyclists who had just managed to make it all the way up the pass.

The Brahmaputra widens to a flood plain

Heading into Lhasa

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