Look! I’m at a computer!
So clearly it’s been a little harder to blog on this trip than I’d anticipated. I’m in Gyantse, Tibet at the moment. I don’t even know where to start. Since my last post, I’ve:
- Ridden elephants in Nepal’s Chitwan wildlife reserve
- Seen a mother and baby rhino from the back of an elephant in the fiercely pouring rain
- Ridden on the top of a Nepali bus (the inside was full) along with a bunch of packages and luggage. No, there are no seats, and the railing is about four inches high. (Sorry, Mom.)
- Followed pilgrims on their kora (clockwise circuit) of the Barkhor in Lhasa during the Saga Dawa festival
- Climbed the steps of the Potala palace in Lhasa, and had my butt kicked since I hadn’t had much time to acclimatize to the altitude
- Drunk yak-butter tea and eaten tsampa with cheerful nuns in Tidrum Nunnery
- Soaked in natural rock pool hot springs at the same nunnery
- Saw monks at Drigung Til Monastery finishing their dance practice, swirling through the courtyard, ducking low, and swirling in the other direction
- Heard the buzz of voices and the clap of hands as monks at Sera Monastery debated in their courtyard
- Eaten at restaurants whose menus list items such as “powder soup” and “pickel radish with ponk”
- Driven by countless yaks and long-haired goats and sheep, not to mention mountains
- Seen the enormous thangkas (paintings) unfurled for today’s festival at Palkhor Chode Monastery
So there are a few snapshots. Much to say, many more experiences to share when I’m home and rested and coherent. Tibet is stunning in its beauty, and the people here are kind and friendly. We have five more days on the Friendship Highway before we cross back into Nepal.