Saturday, August 10, 2013

The way to Kailash

Some pictures from the long drive.
Northeast from Kathmandu, through lush terraced valleys
The border - Nepal below, Tibet (China) above
Misty mystic trip up to the Tibetan Plateau

Our first stop, Nyalamu, the tree line far below us
Nyalamu and a first few snowy peaks seen from a hike up the valley
Flowers, including stunning blue larkspurs, along the trail
The rebuilt monastery around Milarepa's cave across a valley of barley
Yak dung-lined roofs of the Tibetan village
Titular gods at this monkless monastery
One of our drivers in Milarepa's cave
Mountain crags beckon as we head northwest
A geologically dramatic landscape
Stunning peaks behind us as we approach Lalung La pass (5200m)
Looking back through the prayer flag-festooned pass
Wide open vistas
And one range of spectacular Himals after another
Pheku Lake
 Multicolor mountains like in a tankga painting
Crossing the Yarlung Tsango river - which becomes the Brahmaputra
Street scene in frontier town-like Saga, our second night in Tibet
A ruined fort in predawn light as we get an early start
Giant sand dunes
Shrine in a roadside stop - including a forbidden photo of a certain Lama
Model of a Chinese traffic policeman lost in the vastness
Gurla Mandhata, the great mountain to the south of Kailash
Fingers of rain over holy Lake Mansarovar
Mount Kailash in predawn light over Rakshas taal, the evil lake
Seductive curves of Rakshas taal 
Looking south toward Taklakot, the old pilgrimage route
Mount Kailash above Darchen

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