We got up early and were at the same restaurant for breakfast as we’d used yesterday. Ed and I shared a chocolate and banana pancake and a portion of chocolate momos. Sadly both were stodgy and didn’t love up to the standard of food that we’d enjoyed yesterday.
We then returned to the monastery and went into the assembly hall to see the monks chanting. Whilst people in Tibet seen relaxed about religion and places are welcoming, I did feel somewhat uneasy as we walked around the hall.
We got back to the hotel and after a bit of disharmony over where people would sit on the bus (we both just left them to it and ended up with seats at the front) we left about 8.45 for a 9 hour drvie to Gyantse. The trip would see us retrace our steps for the first 3 hours the same route we took yesterday. We then turned off to a new road and almost immediately started climbing the first if the three mountain passes for today. Once again the scenery was spectacular and the road also an experience! The road was a serious of hairpins and took us well over an hour to get to the pass. We stopped abbot halfway up for pictures and, I suspect, to show the bus’s engine to cool down!
We eventually reached the Khampa la pass which is 4978m above sea level. As seems to be the norm there were loads of Tibetans with Yaks, baby goats and Tibetan dogs who all offered a picture taken…. for a fee! In the distance we could see Nyenchenkangsang mountain 7190m and a stunning view of Yamdrok Tso Lake, the third largest lake in Tibet which was a beautiful blue colour.
Having taken photos we dropped down to the lake and stopped again for more photos. The sign skied that we had list over 500m in height to 4441m.
We drove on and stopped an Nyagntse for a very late lunch of Yak burger!
We continued on and up through a second pass with a much closer view of the tall mountain. This time we could see the glaciers. The pass, over 5000m is a main road but there is a charge (50 yuan (£5) per person to stop and take photos so the bus went slowly and we managed to take photos out of the window. A man on a bike tried to follow us but or driver managed to keep going!
We continued on for another 30 minutes and arrived at Gyantse just after 7pm. A small group of us went for some food to a local restaurant before retiring to bed!