Edit Blog Post
Published: October 14th 2010
A place of true beauty
Lake Namtso is a truly impressive sight, one that is well worth the trip if you have a day to spare. It was a four-hour drive from Lhasa, winding through mountains and countryside, dotted with yaks, cows and goats and the odd lonely looking soul. Throughout the journey, the landscape impressed and the scenery was dramatic. Just to add to the beauty, Tibet had once again shown us the brightest blue skies and cumulous clouds.
Half way through the journey, we stopped for a leg-stretch, probably the most scenic place I’ve ever stopped to have a break from a journey. To my left was a 6000m+ mountain capped with snow, in front of which was a densely packed tower of prayer flags with a little man on top making sure they were all in order. On the other side was a smaller, greener range of mountains, with the Lhasa railway train rolling past alongside. If only the quality of the toilets had matched the quality of the scenery.
We arrived at a 5020m-altitude peak in the road for our first view of the vast aqua marine lake glistening in
the sunshine, so big that in fact we could not see all of it. A short drive later and we arrived at the lake and had a quick bite from necessity and not from desire - we wanted to get to the lake shores by foot. Walking down to the edge, we felt the thin air and increased altitude with each step we took. Down by the water, the calm surface met in the distance with the base of a dramatic snow capped mountain, and stretched out in another direction to meet the clouds on the horizon. It is honestly one of the most beautiful places I have seen. It was absolutely beautiful, and pure.
Down by the lake there were many yaks and their owners, which I liked due to the significance of the yak in Tibetan culture, it was just a shame that essentially they were there for tourists to take photos with them.
We walked around the shores of the revered lake, to avoid the throngs of Chinese tourists that had piled off a bus. Further round the quieter shores, Yak skulls were sitting proudly as a sign of sacrifice next to this
holy lake. Prayer flags decorated the edge, and their bright colour partnered perfectly with the bluest of skies. It was a beautiful spot to sit and admire, and remember how much natural beauty there is in the world.
One of the most fascinating things was this sense of being on the “roof of the world”, as the tagline goes. I felt the clouds were literally closer to me, and the mountains met with a blanket of clouds on the horizon, not too far in the distance it seemed.
It was a long drive back to Lhasa but again, the scenery made every mile worth the journey; even the hairy driving was worth it. En route we stopped to see some nomads living in between the lake and Lhasa. Only two hours from Lhasa and yet they had never been to visit, just one of the beautiful things about Tibet, people can lead such pure lives, full of happiness, without many things that we regard as necessities. One young teenage boy was fascinated by the hairs on David’s arms and kept pulling on them, clearly not used to these hairy Englishmen!
Sadly the trip to
the lake was our last venture in Tibet, and drew to a close our three weeks of adventures in China, Tibet being the highlight for me. I was sad to be leaving such a place that was so friendly, happy and beautiful both physically and in spirit.
Tot: 3.146s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 28; qc: 145; dbt: 0.0866s; 3; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.7mb