Day 10: Trekking visit Lamayuru and camp Ulitokpo
Lamayuru Travel Blog› entry 11 of 26 › view all entries
Owing to some mishap the previous evening I woke up quite ill-tempered at . After the daily ritual of tea, washing water and breakfast we left the Themisgam camp at , just after it had started to rain. Today was the last day of our trekking and we had been told it was going to be a tough one. We had to cross our seventh and last pass, the Bongbong-La (3630 m). To reach the start of the path to this pass we left Themisgam, followed the road to the little town of
This was definitely one of the biggest challenges of the trek. The path was narrow and often made of extruding bits of rock. The rain didn't make it any easier but bright hot sunshine would probably have been worse, as we've felt in the previous days. As the Dalai Lama has once said, the only good thing about anger is that it creates determ
This time it was the turn of the two Buddhists in the group (me and Andre) to tie-up the prayer flags, followed by three times 'Larga-Lo' and a group picture. At we continued walking over the very gently descending barren plain that lay behind the pass, flanked by mountains on both sides. Annoyed by the continuing rain and still in a bad mood I took the lead, walking in the front with Dadul. I wasn't feeling too much like small talk with anybody and this front position gave me some desired rest.
It still took us 1,5 hours before we reached the jeeps that were parked on the road that runs along the murky
At we got back into the jeeps. The rain had f
Lamayuru lies at the end of the gorge and the town itself proved - how shall I describe it? - a real shithole. Houses were in various stages of disrepair and most of the place smelled like an open sewer. According to legend Lamayuru had once been the bottom of a lake but some Buddhist saint had prayed to guardian spirits to have the water drained away. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to have the place flooded again, just for a short while, to wash away the filth.
The reason why we were here was the Lamayuru Gompa - beautifully situated on a cliff above the town - which proved to be well worth the visit.
After this visit we returned eastwards to our f
At we reached the camp site Ulitokpo (3450 m) where the tents had already been patched up, this time with prayer flags strung between them. Tea, biscuits and snacks were also waiting for us.
Tonight we would say goodbye to our fabulous crew. The orig
The crew still their minds set on the traditional end-of-the-trekking camp fire, rain or no rain, and when the thunder and lightning had died out they gathered wood and with a proper amount of gasoline they managed to start a fire. Tashi, who had joined the festivities, turned on his car stereo and before long the whole crew was dancing around the fire to the beats of European pop music. Some of my travel companions, among whom Judith, immediately joined in but I didn't quite feel like dancing in the rain. For some reason however I found myself joining the wet madness within several minutes, a bottle of beer in one hand and a cup of chang in the other. Indeed, Dadul had arranged a small jerrycan of chang on my request but would later tell me that he found that the crew had already drunk half of it by the time he retrieved it from the box he had stored it in.
Several hours of complete lunacy followed during which crew and travellers danced like madmen on what seemed to be Tashi's only two CDs. When Tashi's car battery failed he and the crew tried to restart it but for some reason the car actually backed up straight into the camp fire! Probably scared shitless Tashi seemed to have pulled the handbrake and when the crew tried to push it out of the fire it wouldn't move an inch. I think that Paul detected the problem and after the fire had been burning right below the car's fuel tank for what seemed like ages we were able to push the car away. Surely, one explosion a day was more than enough!
After we had shaken off the shock of this incident the party continued. The crew gathered anything that seemed flammable to keep the fire burning. Sticks, wooden and carton boxes and they even came running with a complete tree! Dadul and Dorje frequently threw more gasoline on the fire and when the rain f
At , when several people had already gone to bed, Kirsten decided that it would be better to stop to give everybody their well deserved rest. Tashi insisted on one more song and a very special moment followed in which we all sat around the dying fire and meditated to an ambient tune from his car stereo. 'Big Jan', who had come from his tent for a quick toilet visit was absolutely flabbergasted by this sight and must have though that we'd f