To Gyangze (aka Gyantse) 12956'
Gyangze Travel Blog› entry 9 of 24 › view all entries
September 30th, 2007 – by: portia
Then we headed back the way we came. Because the road past Yamdrok Lake to Gyangze was under construction and closed. Our guide had brought picnics for us, and we had a view of the valley below while we had our lunch. There were many holes around where we sat on the mountain side, supposedly rats or something similar lived there, but we didn't see any of them.
We decended the pass and headed west. The roads here were still paved, and they had an interesting system for controlling the speed of cars via checkpoints. You get a piece of paper saying when you were at such and such checkpoint, and you can NOT be at the next point before a certain amount of time had passed. So if you drove too fast, you had to wait before you got to the next checkpoint! It's not practical to have highway patrol with speed radars here, so I thought this was a clever system.
At one such stops along the way near a small town, I got out to stretch, and decided to do some yoga. Before I knew it, a bunch of kids had gathered around to watch me, giggling and probably saying what a strange woman I was. Then I took out my small digital camera and snapped a photo of them.
We made another stop by a river, where we saw incense making in progress. This was in fact an incense making factory. They would buy the wood for making incense from far away (not many trees in this part of Tibet!), and they used water power to drive these primitive but effective machines to pound the wood to pulp! The pulp pile would grow and grow to taller than a person.
We took a "shortcut" through some village and were in 4WD country. After a while, we saw these huge sand dunes! We stopped and walked on top of the sand dunes, amazed at where all this sand came from. I heard several theories, some said they were carried over the Himalayans by the wind, others said the sands were always here in Tibet, but left over from when it was in the bottom of the ocean! Whatever the source, there were a lot of sand dunes in Tibet and they were very beautiful.
We arrived at the city of Gyangze just before the sun went below the mountains, with its last rays hitting the Dzong at Gyangze, it was such a great view. We stopped the car on the side of the road, and I attempted severala photos.
We also had a great view of the walls of the Palkor Choide Lamasery before heading into Gyangze.
Gyangze was historically the 3rd largest city in Tibet (after Lhasa and Xigaze). After dinner at the hotel, we took a walk around town, there was not that much in terms of evening entertainment. Although many shops were still open. A woman from a candy store talked to me and she was from the coastal province of my ancestors. It's a long way for someone to move to Tibet to make a living.
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