Published: July 11th 2010June 25th 2010
We need to leave Shigatse early, we had an early breakfast so we can leave before 8am, Tenzin our driver stopped in town and we did not realize that we were supposed to have breakfast now, another miscommunication with Sofie our guide, by this time Russ has had it and asked me and Boris' permission to dress Sofie down and he did it in full blown fashion, we kept silent and we felt uncomfortable but this is our 7th day with Sofie and she has not really been a good guide, not a lot of informations given and i think the problem is she does not understand us too well, her English is ok but cannot communicate properly, and she gave us poor informations, the train tickets when we arrived which we could have bought there and then when we arrived in Lhasa, and her telling us at EBc that Mt.Everest is not part of the Himalayan mountains, anyway we felt she meant well and is trying her best but her agency sent her out too early, she is not ready to be a guide yet, she needs to learn more about the sights she shows the tourists, and give us
Boris and the frigid water
correct information, I can see in the future she may become a competent guide,she probably had not encountered backpackers like us who wants a good deal out of the money we paid her agency.
There is a silence in the truck as we drive towards Namtso lake from Shigatse, The drive was spectacular we have again to go up this hills and get down the other side of the mountains, rugged beauty, similar to the highlands of Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan and somewhat similar to the Bolivian altiplano as well. We had lunch at a small town, we saw the train coming in to Lhasa, an engineering marvel but i doubt the locals will agree with me, finally after 8 hours we arrived at Namtso lake, we have to pay 120 yuan per person , this is a national park and is really gorgeous the lake, purportedly the highest lake in the world at 4,718 ,meters, a salt lake its the head of the 3 biggest sacred lakes in Tibet. We are staying at the Holy lake GH, we got it down from 40 yuan per person to 33 yuans, not bad. We went for a walk and walked towards
the lake and right away the locals tried to make us ride in their yaks for a fee, but we came to the lake for something else, the boys, Boris and Russ wanted to swim naked in the freezing lake, needless to say they were not able to convince me, i got my camera ready and once the boys strip off the locals guys started running to see them run to the lake, quite funny, either they have not seen white men naked before or they just have not seen anyone swim in the lake before, ever! They came back ashore quickly butt naked and the local shepherds suddenly crowded us, they have not seen a gringo naked before, very curious crowd. one dude even offered to strip naked to be one like the boys but i told him no we does not need to do that!
Anyway after the boys have put on their clothes, we walked around the lake shore, we saw a monk, he was singing and waving at us, we chatted with him for a bit and asked us to take a photo of him while he was doing silly stunts jumping from rock to
Boris after the cold naked dip in the lake
rock and did not even asked for money, when we said goodbye to him we followed a herd of yaks that was grazing near a buddhist altar cave carved on this massive rock that stands out on the lake shore. we had thousands of yak photos when we decided to move on and walked further, despite the dark looming clouds and occasional drizzle, the scenery is spectacular, green rolling hills, snow capped mountains, blue lake, landscape so beautiful it looks like painted and not real. it was cold, i was freezing, the wind is unforgiving, so we went back to the place we are staying, had our cup a noodles dinner, chatted with a middle aged Taiwanese who invited himself to our circle, Sofie our guide seems like trying to make amends to us and being very friendly especially to Russ, they played some Mongolian game with goat bones, i was tired so went and get ready for bed, we all used our sleeping bags on top of the blanket and duvets, it is really cold here and no heater in the room, the place is full of Chinese tourists, we fell asleep and woke up to rain, we decided
to stay in for a bit when the rain ended we got ready for breakfast then leave the Lake, by now the sun is slowly coming out but still cold.
We drove back to Lhasa the next day, we took our time and made it back after lunch time. Russ was sick so me and Boris went out to find food, we were yearning for yak burger but somehow landed in a fastfood place called Dico's and had the chicken burger meal there. The next morning we said goodbye to Boris as he goes to the airport to fly south into China and we take the long arduous train to Xian.
There are more photos below