Friday, 28 August 2009

Reaching Gamta (Kamba-la) Pass & Yamdroktso

Today, we are heading to Kamba-la Pass where we can see the Yamdrok Lake or Yamdrok Tso. Kamba-la Pass is 5030m high and the view of the lake from there is spectacular, which you will soon see!

As we were driving along the Lhasa River, the tour guide was telling us about River burials. There are 4 types of burials in the Tibetan culture; sky, earth, fire and river. During river burials, the body of the deceased is cut up by some sort of an undertaker and thrown into the river for the fishes. A monk would be present to bless the ceremony.

This road trip was fun. We went far, far away from Lhasa to a mountainous area of windy roads that climb around these mountains. My sister and I were struggling to shift from side to side to catch the view on both sides as the coach mustered strength with the increasingly loud, roaring engine.

The amazing thing is you still find yaks and sheep at the least expected places of deathly steep slopes. How on earth did these creatures get there? And, they looked so oblivious to the dangers as they dreamily munch on chlorophyll.

Greenhouses growing vegetables

Lhasa River

Picnic areas

Went past more green houses

Murals of stairs drawn to welcome Buddha down to Earth on Vesak day

Sanskrit writings on the walls

Peddlers selling handicrafts while tourists took picture of Lhasa river with the big tree-like structure covered in prayer flags

Clouds in shapes that look like bubbles floating up

Interested tourists view the products sold on red mats

Lhasa Bridge

I remember that some time at this point, children were pestering tourists for money. They looked dirty and pitiful. I saw one approached a Chinese tourist and she yelled at him to shoo him off. Instead of backing away, the little boy persisted and finally, the tourist gave in and passed the boy some donation. Meanwhile, another boy was asking from one of the Singaporean tourists from our group. He appeared an obvious target because he was wearing a suit. When our tour guide saw this, he reprimanded the boy in Tibetan. From our observation, the tour guide seemed to be embarrassed by the commotion and looked to be giving a lecture to the children.

Big bundle of twigs covered in prayer flags

Terraced fields

More murals on the slopes of the mountain

Terraced fields by the side of the mountain

A ravine

A ruin site in the ravine and the river has shrunken to a thin thread

A bus on the windy road going up Kamba-la Pass

Lhasa is somewhere far, far away in that direction

The road that snakes its way up the mountain

And, here we are, looking at Yamdrok Tso

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