September 16th-18th; 12,555km to 13,550km; Ali to Manasavara Lake to Old Zhaba to Old Tigri
Certainly a change in tone from the first three days out of Yecheng. My journal entry for Day 60 starts off with “Best day on the G219 yet!” and it more or less remained that way through to day 62.
As we continued our way south and east into Tibet and towards the Himalayas, the weather was notably improved. We had a couple cold mornings but it seemed we had been able to put the snow behind us. The road, excluding a stretch of 70km the day into Old Tigri, was exceptional. From what I understand, a lot of this road is newly paved as recently as this year. This means that there hasn’t been much of an opportunity for any bits to get eaten up by overweight trucks and extreme weather yet. The good roads allowed us to make really good time through the plains and valleys of southern Tibet giving us time in the evenings to explore the sights at the various destinations.
Spending Time And Sleeping Over At “The Roof Of The World”
Our first night out of Ali was spent at a holy lake at the foot of a holy mountain. The only real “hiccup” of the day was waiting at the PSB office (Public Security Bureau) to register the next section of our trip. The lake was gorgeous, and aside from the holy mountain not too far away, it was next to another impressive 7k+ meter mountain completely covered in snow. Our guesthouse was right along the shore of the lake and looking over us on a hilltop was a monastery that we hiked up to after unpacking our stuff. There were some nice hot spring fed baths nearby too that made for a fantastic and relaxing late evening trip.
Not as exciting as Lake Manasvara but there was another monastery for us to visit! The views from the hilltop where the monastery sat were nice but it was a little sad to see garbage littered all around it. Our guesthouse was nice too as it seemed to be a little more “traditional” style than the ones we had been staying at. There was even a stove in the room for heating and boiling water. Interesting fact: It seems that most people power their stoves with cow/yak manure as it is the most plentiful energy source around!
Only 70km from Everest Base Camp today and we caught our first glimpse of the Himalayas too! The 70km of gravel road was more or less manageable and we still made great time to our final destination where you can apparently see Everest from on a clear day. Sadly no monasteries to visit today though.
Photos From The Road
You can click through any of the photos below and cycle through the gallery to see more from these past 3 days!