Our earliest start yet – 6.15 alarm to leave for Nam Tso Lake at 7am. We had a private bus for the 250km journey on some quite uneven roads. That, coupled with the difficulty that the driver seemed to have in engaging gear, and the constant stopping for police speed check points (and toilet stops for some of our group) meant it took just over 5 hours to get there. This included two mountain passes, one at Niannquintaggula which was 4630m high. Here we saw a range of prayer flags and the customary yaks. While we were there a long line of army trucks were driving past in the other direction and seemed to go on for ages.
We continued on and after about 200km turned off the main road towards the lake. Here we continued our climb up to the second mountain pass which was 5190m high and marks the highest point that we have been on the ground…so far! There were some great views of the lake in the distance, although it was a bit chilly and trying to snow!
After this pass we dropped down about 300m to a plain and passed numerous nomad settlements before finally arriving at Nam Tso Lake.
This is clearly a bit of a tourist hot spot and numerous ‘hotels’ and restaurants have sprouted up around it. The lake is the second largest salt water lake in China and according to our guide book would take 20 days to walk around! We had a bit of walk and there were loads of locals with Yaks and you could pay to have a ride and have your photo taken, a bit like the donkeys at Weston Super Mare.
Having taken loads of pictures, we met back at a restaurant for some food and a drink before getting back on the bus for what seemed like a never ending journey back.
A quick shower later a few of us headed back towards the main square for some food and our last walk into the central area before heading to Samye tomorrow.