After a night back in Shigatse following our trip up to Rongphu Monastery and Mount Everest Base Camp we were on the road again for a long day en route to Namtso Lake in the north of Tibet. We initially followed the G318 road heading east towards Lhasa and for much of the way this followed the Yarlung Zangbo River.
We stopped at the Yaluzangbu Jiang River Valley Black-necked Crane Nature Reserve by the river to take in the view and to take a toilet stop.
Here the ladies in our group enjoyed rummaging through the jewellery and bric-a-brac on a vendor’s small stall he had set up at the strategic spot. It took us ages to get them all back on the bus to continue our journey!
Further along the road and next to the river we stopped at a very small isolated restaurant for a simple lunch.
We all sat out in the courtyard at the back of the restaurant and were served up food plus of course some much needed local beer.
I had a really nice plate of yak curry with potatoes and rice which went so well with the beer.
The courtyard was surrounded by buildings which were all brightly painted with beautifully decorated curtains over the doors.
The toilets were out the side of the buildings and were very basic, as were all of the toilets we encountered in Tibet.
The side of the buildings were decorated with some paintings and there was a really stunning bright red double door.
Outside the restaurant was a small stall set up selling the usual gifts. I managed to buy a rather unique egg-shaped stone for a geologist friend back in Malaysia as shown below.
We headed off from the G318 road to Lhasa and headed north on a small rural road which took us through some beautiful farmland. Here we saw some wonderfully coloured tents in the pastures.
We eventually ascended to the Zhagangqu Plateau at 4,700m where there was a large open plain in the valley with large herds of yak grazing on the grassland. This made for some wonderful photo opportunities in this wonderful landscape.
We continued driving north over vast areas of grassland where we saw large flocks of sheep along with the usual yak.
Stopping at a small village we saw a local man with a baby sitting on a scooter by the road. We took the opportunity to give the baby one of the toy animals we had brought to give out to some of the poor children in the rural villages. The baby looked thrilled to receive the pink toy rabbit.
In one area we saw a large contingent of army tents on the open plain obviously out for some major military manoeuvres.
Our road got worse and soon it was a rough track but the mountain vistas were quite stunning under the bright blue skies.
More military presence was noted as we passed a large group of tanks all covered up in black tarpaulins.
Yangbajain Geothermal Field
We eventually reached a large area where there was a large geothermal operation. This was the Yangbajain Geothermal Field and is currently the largest proven geothermal field of its nature in China. It has an estimated power generation potential of 150,000 kW.
The last portion of our drive up over a high pass was particulary difficult with the road under massive re-construction and one portion which had been totally washed out by a flood. We had to queue for over an hour while a large digger filled in the river where the road had been washed out.
So after an arduous 11 hour drive we eventually reached Namtso Lake. By the time we drove down from the high pass to the lakeside where our accommodation was it was late and getting dark so it was time for dinner and an early night …… the lake would have to wait till tomorrow.
Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia
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