terça-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2010

Lhasa / Kathmandu - 5th day

Gyantse (4020m) - Shigatse (3840m)
Distance - 95km
On the day before I had plenty of time…I had time enough to visit and enjoy the small town of Gyantse…It is one of the few places in Tibet that have not changed much since 1950.

This village is known mainly because of his fortress, called Dzong, a very special building, the Kumbum, and a big monastery, the Pelkor Chode.

When I arrived I gazed at that fascinating fortress-monastery, perched on a mountain. It looked impossible to reach and no doubt is meant to look that way. Down below, at the foothill, stands the Pelkor Chode Monastery and the amazing Kumbum stupa, both with more than 500 years old. The Kumbum it´s like a pyramid, has six levels and tens of shrines. Each shrine room contained at least one large, colorful statue, and the walls were painted with murals of mandalas or bodhisattvas.

Surrounding the monastery there are some streets that looked really old. Walking among them I got the feeling that I was somewhere in the middle age…small houses with two floors, where the ground floor is used to keep the animals and the first floor is where the people live. Most of the houses have no canalization and the sewage is still thrown into sewers that were built by the road, like the system that was used long ago, in the towns of the old Europe.

My fifth day started at 9:30 and I spent nearly 3:30 hours to make 95km to Shigatse. The road was flat most of the time and the surroundings were not as interesting as the landscapes of the prior days. So, I focused myself to push really hard :-)
Nearly after 30km from Gyantse I stopped to visit a mill where tsampa (the most famous food in Tibet) is made.

When I arrived Shigatse my legs couldn't walk straight without trembling...:-)
The mill

The mill's owner. He wanted to make business with me - his mill for my bike...I was temptedShigatse

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