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New Tingri, Tibet

Overland from Shigatse to New Tingri

sunny 51 °F

We drove 240k over two passes Tso-La pass (4500m) and Gyatso-La pass (5252m). Luckily the altitude wasn’t an issue so we could hike around the top of each pass and enjoy the stunning views.

We took what was going to be a small detour to Sakya Monastery but ran into some construction and ended up trailblazing through some irrigation channels only getting stuck once (we were happy we had a 4-wheel drive land cruiser) The grounds at the monastery were open and sunny with a bit of ice still lingering in the shadows. The rooms were quiet, cold, dark and full of ancient scriptures. It makes you realize how simple a monk’s life is, and how many sacrifices they make.

We arrived that evening in New Tingri (4500m), a very small town along the main road, with very little in the way of entertainment other than heckling back and forth with the kids peddling ‘fossils’ on the dusty street. This place was windy, dusty and the people were reminiscent of a Mad Max movie, with their motorbikes decked out with streamers and their faces wrapped in flowing rags. We taught some Tibetans how to play a card game we call “Rich Man, Poor Man” that night… Tibetans are very good at cards, and they get really emotional when they play. Our cards took quite the beating that night as they bent and threw the cards down with great enthusiasm…. but it was so worth it! We retired to a long dark hallway with no lights (our first two nights on the road were 6 stars compared to this place). To give you an idea of how primitive this town was, here is a picture of the bathrooms at this hotel (this is the ENTIRE bathroom, no shower, no sink):

Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 04:50 Archived in China

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