Paryang: Day 19 (Elevation 4540M / 14895FT)
August 28, 2010, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

With our goodbye to Lake Manasarovar we began our long drive toward Lhasa.  We actually decided to cut a day or two off of the journey so that we could spend a little less time in tents and more time in the capital.  We found that we wouldn’t really be able to explore the destinations at the end of each day’s drive because of high winds and more dust than one could really ever imagine possible.  I think I may still be carrying a few ounces of Tibetan dust around Asia with me.  So instead of being able to play, we were stuck in our tents on a few occasions just to get out of the wind.  The western part of Tibet is incredibly dry and bare without a lot of vegetation to pin the soil down.  From this time onward, each day’s drive would move us from what is strictly nomad land to the more arable farming country. 

A rough map of the spots visited and the route to come (click for a more legible version):

Dan, Tim, Simon and I were car partners throughout the journey, which of course kept it lively:

The somewhat major spot on the map that we passed through today was Paryang.  We had a quick wander through the grimy town square and loaded up on sugary chinese snacks for the remainder of the drive to come.  We also came upon this little gem of a storefront with its bizarre English name– a perfect photo opp for our troop of kiwi men that hadn’t touched a razor in weeks: 

And I mingled with a local nomad family (who were unfortunately in town to beg):

Have a good look at this photo, there are some seriously great accessories in the mix:

(15 points to those who spotted the princess crown)

We then continued along to join the path of the mighty Brahmaputra, or Yarlung Tsangpo, one of Asia’s great rivers.  From its Tibetan origin it continues down through India and then Bangladesh where it merges with the Ganges.

The river is just beyond the dunes, it seemed so wide it almost appeared to be a lake:

 

We set up camp that evening on a magnificent stretch of the river’s shore:

And I danced around in the fading sunlight for a while.  Wild to think that these photos were taken after 9pm.  (All of China is on a single time zone).

A little side note: Because this blog is not actually being written in real-time, I’ve been asked to divulge my current location once in a while until the blog catches up with me. At the moment I’m writing from Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan Province, and just spent a balmy Saturday afternoon scouring the mall (several, in fact) with Chinese and Brazilian girlfriends. Good times. I hope that doesn’t break the mystique or become disorienting. But I’m bound for the Plateau again shortly!   

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