Sunday 21 October 2018. Tibet Photos
Highlights: Pelkor Chode Monastery, Gyantse Kumbum, Gyatso la pass
A cold morning and day at high altitude awaited us as we left our hotel for breakfast at a local restaurant.
During the night a water main must have burst as the road our hotel and the restaurant are located on was partially flooded this was to cause issues later getting Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Gyantse Kumbum. Both for breakfast and lunch I was the last one served.
Getting to Pelkor Chode Monastery (meaning “Auspicious Wheel Joy Monastery” in Tibetan) was difficult with our driver trying several routes due to the road flooding but eventually he got us close enough to walk there. This monastery is run by three different Buddhist groups which is very unusual. You get to the monastery by a walkway lined with prayer wheels on either side.
As with most of the monasteries I’ve seen so far the past, present and future Buddha statues were very prominent.
Next up was the Gyantse Kumbum Stupa and eight story structure that houses 10,000 imagines and statues of Buddha that was started in 1427. You walk around each layer of the Stupa clockwise investigating the rooms you like and then climb up stairs to the next level.
To get to the top level the stairs are more like a ladder. You have to be carefully going up and down as little to no hand rails and very small steps most of the time.
You get a great view of the local city and the walls around the Monastery and the Kumbum.
The rest of the day was mostly uneventful driving to our next location. The main highlight being stopping at the highest point of this trip at Gyatso la pass which is 5,248 metres above sea level. It was very windy and cold at this place. Once you get above 4,500 metres every added metre makes a difference to the air and temperature.
I was glad I put on an extra layer today. Tomorrow we move onto Rongbuk Monastery (the highest in the world) and to Everest Basecamp (Tibetan side). I’m hoping for clear day as I know it will be very cold and windy regardless. For our stay tomorrow night at the Rongbuk Monastery Guesthouse we have been repeatedly warned we will not sleep well during the night as we will be over 5,000 metres above sea level. We will see.