Sign in our Lhasa hotel room
To get through sand like this ...
... give it herbs!
15/10 During the night a piece of tooth brakes off, probably the one that has been repaired in Pakistan. Dorje takes me to a dentist. There are three dentist's chairs side by side, but no doctor in sight. Just as well, as the place looks dirty. We go to the military hospital where I have a hard time convincing the doc not to put another poisonous amalgam filling in. After a white filling is finally put in they tell me not to eat hard food with it!
Because of this we get away late and have an uneventful ride via Tsetang to Samye. The dirt road at the end is interesting. There are big sand dunes all over the place and the road surface is deep sand in places.
16/10 We visit Samye gemba, some beehives at the edge of the village, then ride back through Tsetang to Tradruk temple. We want to go up another valley and camp at a lake, but after an hour of searching the road the guide tells us the area is not on our permit. We go to Zangri and camp further up the valley. Phuntsok and Dorje don't want to camp and drive into town to eat and because Dorje is sick, but they return soon after with the police, who say we aren't allowed to camp here. Apparently, Dorje has to pay a fine because he left us at the camp site. Gilles convinces the cops to let us stay the night.
17/10 The night was cold and in the morning everything is covered in thin ice. We decide to give the next monastery a miss and head East. The road at first follows the Brahmaputra river, then climbs, then turns to dust. We wind our way up to the Podrang La (5030 m), then down again the other side back to the same river. We have lunch and stay in Drumpa. There is only one hotel there, pretty posh on the outside, but run down and the water doesn't work.
Looks like we are on the roof of the world!
From Drumpa we ride up a dirt road to the ruins of Chokhorgyel gemba, then on up another 30 km to a car park, from where we walk up some long stairs to a ridge. From here we can look down into a valley to Lake Lhamo Latso. We are at over 5200 m altitude and my head doesn't like it at all, so I leave before the others. They stop for lunch in the village next to the ruins, but I go ahead a lot further down to try and get rid of the altitude sickness. We find a very nice spot by a river to camp and even manage a nice camp fire.
Lhamo Latso Lake