Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wed 14th Sept

Rest day in Shigatse yesterday. The guide book was very dismissive of the town but I enjoyed being there. It is a town of three parts, the famous monastery, the old Tibetan section and the brash new build of the Chinese section. Pilgrims were prostrating outside the temple and then buying huge bags of butter. The monastery was huge with different chapels, one with a 26 m high Buddha and clearly a very important place for our guide. 

We then followed the pilgrims' route, a 3 mile chain of prayer wheels. In the old town the Tibetan architecture and poverty was reconisable with no electricity or water for the houses built round courtyards. The market was full of felt slippers. The new Chinese part was ultra 21 century with concrete and glass buildings with shops for mobile phones and sunglasses.

The group is gelling and the fast ones are going slower and the slow ones faster.
A major irritation for me was loosing my camera in Shigatse. It had the card with all my photos so far with some nice ones of Tibetan people.  Fortunately I also brought a spare camera.
Today we have our longst ride150 km with 2 small 4300 passes.

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