For miles and miles no habitation and vast expanse of rugged terrain everywhere, Tibet is the highest plateau in the world, hence, rightly called the ‘roof of the world’. While traveling in Tibet, I felt like I was cruising on the moon surface.
At an elevation of 12,300 ft Nyalam is a small beautiful Tibetan town. Due to high altitude, one day rest was required for acclimatization purpose and which included a short mountain trek to test the fitness level of travelers.
After dinner, guide Lamababu instructed all travelers to take Diamox medicine needed for acclimatization. He handed over pills to everyone, except me. I thought may be he forgot and I reminded him, he quipped “aap to superwoman ho aap ko koi medicine nahi khani”. Everyone laughed. I blushed and took that as a compliment for my fitness level.
Nyalam has a fairly big market to shop around. After trekking, many travelers went to purchase trekking poles and woolens. Some travelers bought medicines as not felt well due to mountain sickness.
Next day as buses cruised from Nyalam towards Donga, scenic view totally changed. En route we passed Thorong La, Paigu Tso lake and Brahmaputra river with stunning panorama.
At Donga, oxygen level was dropping. Several times during day and night oxygen level of travelers was being checked and many travelers were treated with extra dose of oxygen through oxygen cylinders carried along. Some travelers were strongly advised to return to lower elevation at Nyalam but they insisted that unless they visited Mansarovar they will not go back.
Next day buses drove from Donga to Mansarovar lake. Every few miles, there was a Chinese check post. Though, it looked bit odd to me noticing intensified security checks, but I could not stop myself from being appreciative of excellent quality of roads at an elevation of 15,000 ft and extensive use of solar energy throughout Tibet.
By the time buses reached at Mansarovar lake, lot of travelers were feeling dizzy and exhausted. But the first glimpse of Mt. Kailash made every traveler emotional. This was the moment of ecstasy everyone was waiting for.
Travelers with worsening health conditions were sent back. The only solace to them was that they could catch the glimpse of Mt. Kailash and perform some puja at Mansarovar lake.
My spiritual quest continues….