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Old 29th July 2009, 09:35   #61
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AMAZING ! Deky you are doing a very good job with the travelogue...please keep up the good work ! Thanks for sharing your experiences...tuned into this one
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Old 29th July 2009, 11:14   #62
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Great job @deky. You have a knack of narrating the experience in a very interesting and crisp way. And the pictures speak a lot more. You have me hooked on to this one - After Yeti's German experience and your epic on the ship disaster, this is one that I keep checking for updates every hour!!

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Old 29th July 2009, 12:41   #63
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Thumbs up buddy. It can never be better than this. Great combination of pictures ans narration, truly awesome.
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Old 29th July 2009, 14:24   #64
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Good going Deky,

Apart from some nice pics, its the uniqueness of this trip makes it very very special.

so glued to it, keep posting

cheers
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Old 29th July 2009, 14:30   #65
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wow, this is surely an epic as sir Thad E said, your pictures says more then thousand words and later part of your details posted along with them is surely applauded. Keep it coming for more of this wonderful and breathtaking journey of a lifetime.

Last edited by vijaythacker : 29th July 2009 at 14:49. Reason: vote added.
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Old 29th July 2009, 14:43   #66
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Just added one more vote to this excellent thread.
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Old 29th July 2009, 15:39   #67
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Default Tips On Essential Items To Carry Whilst On The Road

Thanks all for the great comments and the ratings, gives me great enthusiasm.

I am sorry for just being able to post only 1 or 2 post a day but have been busy with other things so kindly bear with me.

THINGS TO BE CARRIED IN THE JEEP

After mom had the bout of vomiting I immediately shopped for titbits in Saga so as not to repeat the same mistake of long breaks between meals again.

Apart from the meal timings one can also get stuck on the road due to various causes, natural and man made. The distances being a lot between habitation getting help might take some time hence you should have adequate things in the jeep to be able to survive till you reach the destination.

The big bag or the duffle bag will be transported in the truck hence you will just be able to carry a small ruck sack in the jeep. In that ruck sack I suggest you carry the following:-

1. First aid kit:- as suggested in the medicine list in post #37
2. binoculars, camera, extra battery:- cold climate reduces the battery life
3. wind sheater/ rain coat:- in the afternoons it gets very windy
4. extra woolens:- preferably a warm jacket, cap, woolen gloves, which you can remove whilst in the jeep as the jeep with 5 pax gets warm and when u step out of the jeep its cold. Basically wearing many layers of clothing is the best
5. walking stick
6. Torch light and a swiss knife:- you might get stuck after sun set as we did later on
7. snacks to eat:- very essential that u should have something to eat eg;- chocolate bars, dry fruits etc etc. you dont know when you would need them.
8. mineral water:- mineral water will be supplied to you as part of the package from 20 ltr drums. Make sure you fill up atleast 2 ltrs and keep with you. There may be fresh water streams around but its not advisable to drink from them.
9. passport:- will be checked through out the journey at check posts
10. Essential phone numbers:- will be handy
11. medical insurance
12. face mask:- it gets very dusty
13. cosmetics:- chap stick, sun screen lotion, good pair of sun glasses, hand santizer
14. music cd's:- or else you would be made to hear Chinese/ Tibetese songs all along
15. oxygen pillow:- usually big oxygen cylinder goes in the truck but the sherpas have few small oxygen pillows and also sometimes portable oxygen cans. If you feel that you might require them any time, you can always ask one to be kept in the jeep.

The above is just a guideline, things may vary from individuals needs and priority
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Old 29th July 2009, 17:14   #68
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WoW!! one very nice detailed trip this is . Very nice narration, very useful bit of information and very stunning photographs!!!! good work deky!!! I am particularly taken away by the information that you have been mentioning about the trip. the Do's and don'ts . Very helpful.
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Old 29th July 2009, 17:58   #69
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Default Day6: Saga (4500mtrs) To Prayang (4600mtrs)

After a good night sleep and a very relaxing bath the previous night, the whole group was ready to leave by 10 am in the morning. Luckily the medication for mom had worked and her tummy seemed more settled this morning.

YATRIS GETTING READY TO SETTLE IN THEIR RESPECTIVE JEEPS
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MOM FEELING BETTER
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This gentleman came in between as I was taking moms photo. He then started to demand money as I had taken his photo. Obviously I just ignored him off

Today we would travel west to another village called Prayang. The distance to be travelled would be approximately 240kms and time taken would be 6 hrs.

It didnt take us long to cross Saga town and within a few minutes we were back on the muddy dusty road. After crossing a pass we entered a valley which was surprisingly much greener than the valley we just crossed.

ASCENDING A PASS- NOTICE THE CONTRAST IN VEGETATION IN THE NEXT PIC
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As mentioned earlier the contrast between valleys is striking. You may be travelling in a valley which may be totally barren, dusty and with no life once and suddenly you go on the other side of the hill and notice beautifull green pastures, nomads with their cattles, marsh lands, water etc etc.

DESCENDING TO GREENER PASTURES
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SETTLEMENTS EN-ROUTE
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WETLANDS
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It didnt take us long to realise why the sudden change in vegetation. At a distance we could see a river flowing and lots of water bodies joining the river. As we descended to the valley we realised that this is the mighty Brahmaputra in its infant stages. Though the water flow was strong but not any way close to being as destructive as it gets when it enters India.

THE BRAHMAPUTRA OR YARLONG TSANGPO
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We had to stop at this place and take photos. We also saw some wild yaks grazing along the banks. This was the first time we saw these yaks from close.

WILD YAKS GRAZING THE BANKS
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YAK LOOKS FEROCIOUS BUT IS A VERY TIMID ANIMAL
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MY VOTE GOES TO THIS YAK FOR BEING THE SMARTEST YAK OF THE WHOLE TRIP
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One of the Land cruisers was giving some heating problems, apparently the radiator had some blockage and wasnt cooling the vehicle. Here I have to mention that these drivers have every contraption possible to get the jeep back into working condition.

HEATING PROBLEMS IN THE JEEP
Traversing The Tibet Plateau To Mount Kailash-dsc01132.jpg

Some of these jeeps have done over 4lakh kms in such tough terrains. The only Toyota service centre available in tibet is in Lhasa hence "jugad" is the key. All through out my journey in Tibet I noticed only 4x4 on the roads, mostly Toyotas, few Nissans, 1 Honda CRV and 1 Chevy Captiva.

After the "jugad" work done to the vehicle we moved along the Brahmaputra banks. I saw a broken structure along the banks and was told that this was an old Tibetien fort which was destroyed by the Chinese. The Chinese have no regards for Tibetien culure and Arhitecture and are just using Tibet for its economic and strategic gains. (I shall discuss this later in a seperate post)

RUINS ALONG THE BANKS OF BRAHMAPUTRA
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ONE OF THE TRIBUTARIES OF BRAHMAPUTRA
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The order of the day was to cross a pass, come to valley, cross the valley and climb another pass. This happened for a few times before we stopped for lunch at a place called Zhadong. Zhadong is kind of in between Saga and Prayang, hence has become an important stop for tourists and the drivers. And because lot of people stop there it has lead to lot of ecological damage of the area. Beer cans, bolttles, polythene bags and lot of other rubbish can be seen thrown around.

ZHADONG MONASTERY
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MIDWAY BREAK FOR YATRIS AND DRIVERS
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ECOLOGICAL MESS
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The lunch was served to us in the monastery guest house. Usually lunches are packed in the morning in big utensils and carried along in one of the jeeps. Suitable spots are found during the journey and meals are then served.

A WATER SOURCE, BUT BEST TO KEEP YOUR OWN WATER
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PACKED LUNCH BEING SERVED BY SHERPAS
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MOM ENJOYING LUNCH
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We then drove up to the Zhadong monastery up the hill. The monastery was some 300yr old and had different incarnations of Buddha.

AT THE ENTERANCE OF THE MONASTERY
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DEAD YAK HORNS AS OFFERINGS
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TIBETAN MAHAKAL
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VARIOUS INCARNATIONS OF BUDDHA
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OUR TIBETAN GUIDE EXPLAINING THINGS TO MOM AND OTHERS
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A PRAYER FLAG POLE
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.....To be contd. in the next post
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Old 29th July 2009, 18:12   #70
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I'm speechless! The Brahmaputra one was the best of the lot! Thanks for sharing and keep em coming.
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Old 29th July 2009, 18:35   #71
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....Contd from previous post

After the visit to the monastery we drove ahead. The topography was changing and suddenly sand dunes started to appear. This totally nailed the fact why Tibetan Plateau is also known as the cold desert. Some of the sand dunes were as high as sand dunes in the Thar dessert.

SAND DUNES
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It was a lovely sight to see sand dunes, greenery. lakes, hills, mountains and snow in one go. Something that u hardly see anywhere else.

SAND+WATER+GREENERY+HILLS+MOUNTAINS+SNOW...ALL IN ONE FRAME
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Because of summers there was lots of rivers flowing. Nomads were making the best use of this time to feed their cattle. The more the cattle feed now, the more it will help them to survive in harsh winter conditions. All along the way we could see nomads with their grazing cattle in the pastures. each nomadic village is fenced off from the other village and the cattle are not allowed to cross over. This is because pastures are at a premium here. The nomads live in tents which can be re located when the need arise.

YAKS ACROSS THE FENCE
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A typical nomad tent would consist of a solar pannel for electricity, his "bukhari" to heat the room, bukhari is also used for heating things. along the tent will be a mound of dried goat droppings used for fire, his dogs and his cattle. His spinning wheel to make spin wool from the sheep fur. Some of the rich nomads also have a tractor type thing for transportation of goods

A NOMADIC TENTED ACCOMMODATION
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RICH NOMADS TRANSPORTATION- POOR COUSIN OF THE TRACTOR
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As we reached closer to Prayang in The N.E direction we could see some high mountains. These mountains were at the Tibet-Nepal border, beyond the mountains lays India

MOUNTAINS AT THE TIBET-NEPAL BORDER
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After a tyre puncture wasted some more of our time we finally reached Prayang at 1730 hrs.

FLAT TYRE JUST BEFORE PRAYANG
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WAY TO PRAYANG TOWN
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It was back to 7 pax in a room and open toilets. The town was as boring as other towns so after settling in the guest rooms Amit and I decided to go for our customary evening walks.

PRAYANG GUEST HOUSE
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TAKING OUR CUSTOMARY WALKS
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RAIN CLOUDS IN THE BACK GROUND
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After the small walk we came back to the guest house. We had been advised earlier not to venture too far as the dogs there were pretty ferocious and lot of dog bites cases had been reported.

At the guesthouse the kitchen tent had been erected by the sherpas and the soup was being prepared

THE TRUCK WITH KITCHEN EQUIPMENT
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THE KITCHEN TENT
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SOUP BEING PREPARED
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Sunset time was interesting as it gave us magnificent views of the ever changing sky light. amit and I decided to climb a broken ladder up the roof to get better soak in the scenery

A BEAUTIFULL PEAK IN THE EVENING SUN
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SUN SETTING OVER THE MOUNTAINS
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OR YOU MAY SAY SUN SETTING OVER INDIA
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BEAUTIFULL EVENING SKY
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THE MOON APPEARING THROUGH THE CLOUDS
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After braving the cold winds standing on the roof of the guest house to take some photos, Amit and I decided to come down, have our dinner and call it a day. Tomorrow would be a special day as we would finally have our Darshan of Mount Kailash and Lake MaNsarovar.

Last edited by deky : 29th July 2009 at 18:39.
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Old 29th July 2009, 18:44   #72
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This guy is photo genius as well. WOW Speechless at the lovely pictures.
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Old 29th July 2009, 19:03   #73
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Speechless, dumbfounded, mesmerised, dazed, hypnotized and a lot more. Just want to say, I am having a wonderful time reading as your journey unfolds and I am excited too, just to read and see your first Darshan of the Holy Montain. Deky dude ... you are currently probably demading more readers than J.K.Rowling.
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Old 29th July 2009, 23:27   #74
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Just another note of encouragement to keep it up.

Each post is about the right size too. Just nicely sized chunks
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Old 30th July 2009, 07:31   #75
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Deky's journey till now from Kathmandu to Kodari to Nyalam to Saga and Prayang.

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Another view looking from east to west. In foreground is Saga (Red marker) and the small yellow speck on the horizon is Prayang. The high peaks on left edge are Annapurna and Dhawalgiri. The peak Deky mentioned on the route stands out in the middle right edge and the likely route taken by them was right of that peak and then curving left towards Prayang.
Actually the high-resolution image shows it even better but will become a pain to download on slower connections.
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Hope this is not taking away anything from his excellent write up. I only wish he had a GPS track to share.

Last edited by sudev : 30th July 2009 at 07:35.
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