Lhasa, Jokhang & Barkhor – 4th May 2014 – Tour day 5

Think we have changed the hard sleeper, for the even harder bed of our hotel.  Still, a long nights sleep and up for breakfast at a civilised 9am.  Breakfast here is omelette/toast and coffee.  Barley flour is on offer if you are brave, but as we found out later, it is an acquired taste.

Our meeting time was 10am, and we walked into the Barkhor towards the Jokhang.  At this time of day there were hundreds of pilgrims walking clockwise around the temple, and also some doing protestations, which involves standing, then pushing forward on two blocks of wood until you are on the floor then getting back up again.  This takes about 2 hours to get around the whole temple. There were prayer flags flying everywhere.
 

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We walked the complete circuit and then went to a tea house for some sweet tea and Yak butter tea…a salty variety, not unpleasant, but certainly not my first choice for a drink.  We were also shown how to make Samba, a mixture of barley flour, butter Yak tea, sugar which you mix together in a paste by hand then squeeze together and eat.  Not something I’ll be having for breakfast over the next few days!

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After this we had some freetime so Ed and I walked around the central area before stopping off for some refreshment.  We were befriended by three Chinese students who asked if they could share our table.  We eventually managed to get away and headed off to another restaurant for some lunch.  It was at a place where the 7th Dalai Lama allegedly used to meet women!  It was at this point that Ed realised he’d lost his camera bag, fortunately his camera had not been in it.
It was now time to meet up with our leader and go for a tour of the Jokhang temple.  We spent an hour or so wandering round and got a bit punch drunk by the number of different Buddha statues that there were.  We also went for aview from the rooftop and had some great views of the Potala Palace.  Ed also seems to have taken a shine to one of our other travellers, or visa versa!

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We had some more freetime, so we retaraced our steps in search of the missing camera bag.  We found it in the place where the Chinese people had befriended us and think that they may have hidden the bag whilst they were chatting.  The bag was in the restaurant, but missing the spare memory card (fortunately there was nothing on it).
We met the group for dinner at a Nepalise restaurant called Namaste, and then a few of us went for a drink in a bar nearby our hotel.  Back now, and another relatively early night in anticipation of Potala place tomorrow.

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