After leaving Lhasa by driving west along the Yarlung Zangbo River and our interesting “Teahouse On The Tracks” lunch-stop at Jiangtangzhen we eventually started the ascent over the high ridge towards Yamdrok Lake or Yamzho Yumco. The road twisted and turned up to the top of the ridge at a height of around 4,800m.
At the top of the pass we stopped to take in the view looking back down the valley which we had just traversed up and also to meet the largest dogs you will probably ever see …. the Tibetan Mastiff.
The Tibetan Mastiff is a large Tibetan dog breed. Originating with the nomadic cultures of Tibet, China, India, Mongolia and Nepal, it is used by local tribes of Tibetans to protect sheep from wolves, leopards, bears, large mustelids, and tigers.
Once over the top of the ridge we parked at a viewpoint and got our first view of the magnificent Yamdrok Lake.
Yamdrok Lake (also known as Yamdrok Yumtso or Yamzho Yumco) is a large freshwater lake in Tibet at a height of 4,441m and is one of the three largest sacred lakes. It is over 72 km long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. The lake has an outlet stream at its far western end and means turquoise in English due to its color. According to local mythology, Yamdrok Yumtso lake is the transformation of a goddess.
We had originally planned to camp by the lake but the site chosen by our tour guide was not really suitable, being close to the road and no clean water supply.
So we pushed on further west to seek a suitable campsite. We stopped at the stunning Karola Glacier in Nagarze county, which sits at a height of 5,020m and took some photos.
Dropping down in elevation at the other side of the valley we eventually found a campsite at a location right next to a river so we settled there, setup camp and had some dinner while taking in the peace and quiet of the countryside.
There was one small farm closeby and the farmer came down with his cow and we were visited by a few children who were all a little shy.
Later in the evening after dinner dark clouds headed in and we had some thunder. During the night it rained and unfortunately some of the tents were leaking slightly making it a little uncomfortable.
The next day we headed towards Shigatse stopping firstly at a large viewpoint overlooking a large reservoir. The rocks were adorned with Tibetan flags and there were a few shabby stalls here by the roadside selling some local jewellery and other gift items.
Local fashion in this part of Tibet was interesting!
Next stop was the town of Gyangze where we had to pick up permits for our ongoing journey. While our guide went to pick this paperwork up we had a short visit to the town square which had a wonderful old palace overlooking the town.
Then it was another 100km drive on to the city of Shigatse where we would spend the next night.
Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia
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