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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Monday, 25 Jun 2007

Location: Tibet, China

MapHello All! Where to begin!!! DAY ONE: Lake Nam Tso the highest salt water lake in the world 4718m. After a four hour drive we arrived at the view point above the lake. The weather was completely overcast!!! We drove down and got settled in our rooms then walked around. The turqois water is almost indescribable. The lake is 70km long and 30km wide. It is surrounded by towering mountain of over 7000m. When we arrived we got settled in a guesthouse. There was only one bathroom for ALL the guesthouses and vistors. Let's just say in the 30 hours I was there I only used it once!!! No more explanation required!! We had a digusting lunch then went for a three hour walk. It was incredible!! When I went out to pee in the middle of the night the sky was full of stars. Peeing in the middle of the night sucks but the sky was a good pay off! Day 2: Happy Brithday to me! I went for an hour walk up a mountain on my own first thing in the morning! It was fantastic! Then it was five hours in the car on an unpaved road with no food! We finally arrived at Reting Monastery. Our roooms were more than basic. Reting Monastery was one of many bombed by the Red Army in 1966. It is still in pieces. We stayed within the monastery which was cool but they had NO food! So my brithday dinner consisted of instant noodle. YUM YUM! The monks were amazing. They showed us around and arranged for a very very very special visit to the Reting Lama the next morning. Almost no tourists have ever met the 11 year old Reting Lama. Lamas are reincarnations of important gods. For example the Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of Buddha. The Reting Lama is very significant and this was a priviledge. We each got blessed! The rest of the day was spent in the car. Day 3: We arrived at Drigung Til Monastery, the Monastery was huge. We wondered around, and once again consumed yet another bowl of instant noodle!! Then we walked 40 minutes up to the sky burial sight. There are five different kinds of burials in the Buddhist religion. The most common is a sky burial. When a person dies they cut up the body and then feed it to the birds. Fortunately there was no burial going on while I was there. I did spend some time hanging out with them monks while they were praying. Their chanting is mesmorizing and very relaxing for me. I sat with the monks for 30 minutes. I drank some Yak Butter Tea (you can't say no to the monks). I have to tell you I REALLY don't like Yak Butter Tea! Then it was off to the Nunnery (Tidrum). Just when you thought the accomodation and lack of food couldn't get any worse!! However, the nunnery also has a natural hot spring! There is a girls one and boys one, so I bathed naked! Just as I was pruning up and feeling dizzy from the 4700m altitutde, the hot water, and lack of food the young girls decided that my body needed washing! Far be it for me to pass up a free back washing! Interesting! It was 10pm and the stars were out and the moon was glowing, it was a magical experience! Day 4: Ganden Monastery another spectacular sight (but by this point I am just about monasteried out!) That night my little group (2 Belgian women Sohpie and Ariane, 2 Canadians Rachel and Brent (adorable couple) Eric from NYC and myself) went out for a delicious gluttinous dinner! Wine, meat, salad, and apple pie! YUM YUM! Sure beats instant noodles!

There were many trip highlights. The scenery, baby animals, meeting and mingling in real Tibetan communities, hanging out with fun people, meeting the Reting Lama and much more! I really loved my four day trip! Chat soon, T