A beautiful sight
This morning revealed a beautiful sight. Hills that form the backdrop of Potala Place were clocked in fresh snow form last night and the sky was a overcast deep gray. There was a mild drizzle and a little chill in the air. Around noon we said good bye to Lhasa and moved with our boats, bags and baggage for our onward journey to Kailash.
First we drove along the Lhasa river and soon came face to face with Yarlung – the river we will soon be riding downstream. We passed some stretches of white waters which made it amply clear that our ride was certainly not going to be a cake-walk.
After lunch at Chushu, as we drove through a landscape splashed with the golden yellow of Poplar trees in autumn, the mountains around started showing patches of sand dunes where on expects glaciers to be. While we all were Busy admiring the landscape we were jolted to a stop. The road ahead was blocked by a barricade. We soon found out that the road was closed for an uncertain length of time due to road building ahead. As we all were ungainly employed in ‘worrying’, team member Jed, who in spite of being an American, speaks fluent Chinese, was working on the officer in charge of road barrier. He soon struck a deal that we could pass provided we also gave a lift to the young lade he recommended. A bargain we gladly accepted.
The road ahead was in read bad shape and but for that blessing of engineering called 4 X 4 we could never have made it. A little detour from Gyantse on to dirt track and we soon drove through a glorious sun-set into Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet after Lhasa, for a night halt.
Tomorrow we get our permits for further journey Kailash and move closer to the beginning of our real adventure.