Lake Nam-tso 4730 metres above sea level Tibet 2016
On Sunday 1st May 2016 we left Lhasa to drive a few hundred kilometres to Lake Nam-tso. It was a spectacular drive passing the 7000 metre high peaks of the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains. We stopped at a high pass covered in Tibetan 'wind-horse' prayer flags with the highest peak, Nyenchen Tanglha 7088 metres, towering behind. It was breathtaking!
David at the high pass with the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains Tibet 2016
After lunch in Damshung we climbed up and over the Kong-la Pass at 5240 metres. It was extremely windy as we looked down for our first view of Lake Nam-tso. My hero, Heinrich Harrer, of 'Seven Years in Tibet' fame, crossed over these mountains on his incredible journey to Lhasa in the early 1940's.
Lake Nam-tso with its famous turquoise waters at 4730 metres Tibet 2016
We stayed in an extremely basic guest-house at the ramshackle village near the shore of Lake Nam-tso. It was well below freezing overnight. In the morning the lake was covered with a thin film of ice creating unusual reflections of the distant peaks of the 7000 metre Nyenchen Tanglha Range. Hundreds of birds were sat on the ice waiting for it to melt in the early morning sunshine their calls echoing across the lake.
Snow and ice formations on the shore of Lake Nam-tso Tibet 2016
Nam-tso is the second largest saltwater lake in China and one of the most beautiful sights in Tibet. It is over 70km long, 30km wide and 35 metres at its deepest. We were lucky to be there at this particular time because when the winter ice melts the lake is a miraculous shade of turquoise. We enjoyed exploring the lakeshore amongst the cairns and prayer flags on the rocky promontories. It was from this point we watched a spectacular sunset.
Sunset at Lake Nam-tso Tibet 2016
The next morning we crossed the wide open plain covered in herds of yaks and flocks of sheep. At this time of year they are tended by the local nomadic herders called 'drokpas'. We crossed back over the Kong-la Pass and continued our journey into the very heart of Tibet. It was a long journey over rough gravel roads to the beautiful juniper clad hillsides of the Rong-chu Valley. It was here we explored the wonderful Reting Monastery. The Dalai Lama stated that if he should ever return to Tibet it is at Reting, not Lhasa, that he would like to reside. But more of this in my next blog.
I have just uploaded a gallery of photos of Lake Nam-tso in 'Photographs' in 'Beyond the Sacred Mountains'.
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Hope you are having a super week-end!