Posts Tagged ‘monk


Day 17: Goodbye to Everest

Eyes open.

Paralyzed.  You can not move your body.

Soon the morning insanity loosens its befuddling hold. Not paralyzed after all – there are just fifty pounds of blankets weighing you down. Warm and secure. This must be what it felt like in the womb. What a fan-damn-tastic way to wake up.

Cozy in a yurt at the foot of Mt. Everest. You spend some time luxuriating in this surreality.   Then you steel your nerves to venture outside to try to catch a sunrise on the roof of the world.

The cold stops your breath.  Even with all your warm gear on you have to jog around to stop your body from quaking.  The thought of exposing any skin prohibits the consideration of going to the bathroom – you fear certain things would freeze to other things and make life very uncomfortable.  It appears you were excruciatingly lucky last night because now the entire valley is filled with clouds, and you would never know that Everest was back there.  You see the sun start to light up the highest surrounding peaks, fumble through your gloves for some photos, and dive back into the yurt for hot tea and burning yak dung.  Heaven.

CLICK. So much more. You lucky dogs!!


Day 13 part 1: Potala Palace

We finally have our fourth tour member!  He’s a Chinese man from Taiwan who studies immunology at UCLA (small world!).  (If I remembered all that correctly.)   He’s very nice, if a tad incapable of filtering his…enthusiasm.  While we are pretty flexible, James seems a bit more…aggressive.

We went to the Potala Palace in the morning.  It seemed very important to get there at a designated time, I think because you have to reserve your entrance time beforehand and you only have a limited  duration to actually be in the palace.  But the whole time we were there, I couldn’t figure out how anyone would know your entrance time.  I think it was all a hoax.  Even so, James wasn’t the picture of patience when we wanted to take some shots of the facade of this incredible building.  It looks ancient and harsh and foreboding and vaguely Siberian – built on a little mountain so it towers over the city that grew around it.  I would say that it is one of the most impressive buildings I’ve ever seen.

Potala Palace.  You have to walk up all those switchbacking steps, so it took a while because it’s like we have emphysema and mono in this altitude.

More More More! So much more!!

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