Table of Contents

Bumpy Ride

The narrator was leaving Ravu as the sun gleamed brightly in the morning on the mountain top. Lhamo wanted to give the narrator some present (warm clothes). She went into her tent and brought a long-sleeved sheepskin. They bade farewell to each other.

His driver Tsetan knew a route that would take them straight to Mount Kailash. They had to cross some high mountain passes, but Tsetan assured the narrator that it would be easy as long as there was no snow.

While crossing the gentle hills of Ravu, they saw long pastures that ended into the horizon. They also saw some wild asses running together. As their car started to climb steeper hills, they came across drokbas (nomads) who would wave at their car.

The drokbas’ tents usually had a Tibetan mastiff as a guard dog. These dogs were wholly fearless and barked at coming vehicles with full valor. 

No Oxygen

As time passed, they could see snow-clad mountains. The slope became steeper as they climbed. The ride became bumpier and stiffer. As they reached some height, pressure began to build, and the narrator cleared it by holding his nose. Tsetan and Daniels (his friend) exited the vehicle check the snow.

At 5210 meters above sea level, they had fun on a small snow patch. The narrators’ head started to throb. As they reached the peak of pass at 5515 meter, Tsetan checked his car and opened the petrol tank as it hissed. The headache ended as they travelled down the road. They had their lunch. They all wore sunglasses.

They reached Hor. They bade farewell to Daniels and suffered two punctured tires. The place was barren with no vegetation. As they came close to Mount Kailash, the narrator was excited. He had a cup of tea in a café which was broken and unmaintained. 

His experience of visiting Hor was quite different from earlier tourists’. They stayed at Darchen that night, and it was a troublesome night. The narrator gasped for oxygen on several occasions. 

No Pilgrims

As he was about to sleep, he felt a strange heaviness on his chest. He abruptly woke up, and the heaviness was gone. The same happened again, and now he was afraid to go to sleep. He stayed awake all night.

Tsetan took the narrator to a hospital, where a Tibetan doctor examined him. He only wore a thick pullover with no medical equipment. The doctor said that it was only because of the cold.

The doctor gave him a five days medical course. He slept very well after taking medicine. Now Darchen appeared beautiful to him. He saw the Himalayas with substantial snow-capped mountains.

Darchen appeared too relaxing to him, but there was a problem. Before coming, he was told that Darchen had a rush of tourist pilgrims who visited the place during the season. 

Norbu

He had timed his arrival in the beginning of the season, but there were no visitors. It was too early for the pilgrims to come. Tsetan left, and he was lonely. He met Norbu.

The narrator also brought a novel with him to pass the time. Norbu came to him and started a conversation. Norbu was there for some fieldwork as he worked in Beijing.

He had also come for kora as he was writing a paper on Kailash kora. The narrator was relieved. Norbu was enthusiastic about doing the kora (round) but was too fat.