The road less travelled – Tsochen

Despatch 24.05.10 – Big mouth strikes again. Having described Tibet as a desert in the sky we woke to rain and were forced to pack the gear wet. By the time we were on the road, the rain had turned to snow and we crossed our first big pass of the day in a blizzard. After 60km driving east, we turned north, aiming to get as close to the town of Tsochen as possible. But it’s a dirt road and 240km, and there were several passes to cross, so I braced myself for a long day with a bad headache. Luckily there was lots of wildlife to take the edge off things, wild asses, hares, antelopes, a vulture and all kinds of birds. There was also a sulfurous hot spring. These mountain ranges of the Trans-Himalaya are moving outwards along an east-west axis, which is why there’s so much geothermal energy around here. The highest pass of the day was 5500m and took us across the watershed. The water to the south drains into the Yarlung Tsangpo, the water to the north into a series of lakes where the water goes to ground. It’s big country here, rolling away forever with knots of yaks on distant mountainsides. We’ve seen only a handful of people and vehicles. Tomorrow we turn off this dirt road and head west, towards base camp.

Ed Douglas  

Read Ed’s journey plan

Read Ed’s daily updates to Rohantime on the journey so far

Rohan Heritage

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