Today was Qommlangma, Sagarmatha, or Everest day depending whether you live in Tibet, Nepal or else where and it was the second day of the trip with clear skies and no clouds on the mountains.
The drive up over the Gyawula Pass with its 42 hairpins on the way up and 51 down the other side keep me busy and the reward at the top was the first good view of the Himalayas and that was just jaw dropping.
You are not allowed to drive to the Rongbuk Monastery any more so the last 20 k is done on the new Ecco buses.
I will let the photo’s tell the rest of the story as I can’t put it into words.
Julie will have beautiful words to describe today as I’m lost for words.
Yesterdays drive from Shigatse to New Tingri was punctuated with a visit to the Sakya Monastery in Sa’gya about 20 k’s off the 318. Sakya is one of the 4 main sects of the Buddhist in Tibet and is recognised by the dark colouring on their houses and monasteries. It is the most important monastery for that sect because of what it holds.
Being off the beaten track this monastery has low visitor numbers and was the most authentic I have ever visited. It was so humbling to be witness to the young monks on the top story learning to play the trumpet and horns form their masters, then go to another room with another more young monks leaning how to draw a Mandala.
We then entered the chapel of the monastery and the highlight for me was this monastery has a hugh collection of 84,000 scriptures dating back to the Sakay kings all written from 11th to 16th centuries. The walls filled with scriptures was 10 metres high and about 60 metres long.
The whole temple was constructed from timber in 11th century and the main wooden pillar are whole tree 10 metres high and bigger than 600mm in diameters. All this timber was transported here in the 11th century as this monastery is above the tree line and in a desert area.
We returned to Tingri for the night to catch up on the blogs before heading off on the 219 into western Tibet than Kashgar.
Until next time please enjoy.