Lhasa to Mt. Kailash: journey with a NatGeo explorer (Day 2)
6am, the sky cleared up to a crystal blue, we hit the road again. In a few hours, the snow-covered Himalayan mountain range emerged to our left. By mid day, we reached the lake Monasarova, and at our first sight, Mt. Kailash was there, solemn and holy.
People were making incense offerings and praying right in front of Kang Rinpoche, the Precious Mountain, the center of universe. We took a quick picnic rest at the roadside, made some coffee and had the bread we bought yesterday. Sipping the warm coffee was such a nice treat! It felt like the whole point of the trip was this, for a moment of break in the presence of the natural greatness.
The local nomads were selling a few items related to the holy Lake Manosarova. Salt soil was good for treating swelling feet. Black sand was for arthritis. Red soil was to treat the scars and skin infections. Dry fish was to help reliving the difficulty during a dystocia. The flat stone of course was for sharpening a knife.
The area further on was sparsely populated. We continued to drive onward with the imposing Mt. Kailash to our right. From Saga to Tirthapuri / Meyshi was a 9-hour ride, including the lunch break. Yep, needless to mention out sore buttocks and stiff limbs.
In the early evening, we decided to stay at Meyshi for the night. Meyshi was a small road side town, with a couple of restaurants. Locally the area is known as Tirthapuri, landmarked by the Tirthapuri Monastery.
There were two guest houses. The larger one with around 15 rooms was fully taken by a Chinese construction company. So we went to the smaller one, with 4 rooms in total. The owner came, gave us the key and vanished. Well then, we made us some hot water. Until then we didn't aware that in the rooms and outside, there was an invasion by the giant black mosquitos. Maybe "invasion" was not the right word, "occupied" was more felt like the status quo. Now I realized why the solders at the checkpoints were wearing the veils. It had some thing to do with the environmental change caused by the development in the recent decades and obviously with the in-coming endless trucks, as the locals told us.
8 km western to Meyshi, was Dridapuk monastery of Kagyu sect, an important pilgrimage site for the locals.