We drove from Shigatse towards Qomolangma National Nature Reserve on our way up towards Rongphu Monastery where we would be spending the next night. It was a long drive with rugged and stark countryside.
The only break from the dull landscape were some brightly coloured rape seed fields giving us the opportunity to have some nice photos with the beautiful yellow flowers.
Stopping at a petrol station to refuel I saw two men in a small 3 wheel vehicle and they were drinking some locally made barley beer poured into a soup bowl from a rather unhygenic plastic container. I declined to sample this local delicacy!
The road became more barren as we headed south towards Qomolangma National Nature Reserve and the only wildlife we managed to see was a long horned goat by the road.
Eventually at the top of the high plateau we arrived at the archway marking the start of Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. This was at a height of almost 5,300m and the air was thin making us breath hard with the slightest exertion.
As we descended down the other side of the high plateau we saw large herds of yak and sometimes sheep and goats wandering over the barren tundra wasteland. Nomadic families live in these areas and move these herds of livestock to different pastures at different times of the year.
We passed through another large gateway at an intersection where our passes were checked yet again. Here we could see some fantastic mountains with interesting geology and a unique small toilet building sitting on its own.
We then ascended again over a high pass with the road winding endlessly up the slope. Looking back down the valley we got wonderful views of the mountain ranges in the distance.
At the top of the pass we got a spectacular view south towards Mount Everest (or Mt Qomolangma as referred to by China) and the surrounding high Himalayan mountains. Unfortunately it was rather cloudy so we only caught fleeting glimpses of small parts of the peak of Everest.
The road wound back down the other side of the pass and looked to me like a toy Scalextric track.
Further down the valley we passed through a very interesting area with old ruined temples which showed that this remote high altitude area must have been actively inhabited a very long time ago.
At the small village of Zhabu we stopped and passed out sweets, pens and other goodies for some of the poor children that lived in the village.
It was a long day’s drive but by late afternoon we eventually arrived at the Rongphu Monastery and guesthouse where we would stay for the night.
Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia
Stuart Taylor of HighlanderImages Photography has been making images for over 30 years and can offer a diverse range of photo imaging services with a focus on Asia and a documentary/photojournalistic style. These services include planning and executing a photo shoot on location but importantly all the post-processing and image preparation needed for the specific finished media format required by the customer. Stuart’s experience and knowledge in all of these aspects makes HighlanderImages Photography a one-stop-shop for a comprehensive and professional image production service.
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