Trip Start Jul 02, 2007
38Trip End Aug 03, 2007
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And dude, in the distance, the Tibet border.
This whole thing is played out on a stage at 4000+ metres with an all-star cast: the Karakoram Range to the north, Zanskar to the west, the Indus River flowing right through the middle, the 3 highest passes in the world [I'm not going to make it to the top one, but I've managed the other two]... snow and bare elemental rock, dotted with lush green oases deep in the valleys. It makes me think of the Sierra Nevada area of Spain, except nowhere in Spain is green at this height, nor is Buddhism practised. [I say that, but I've never been to Spain, but it's how I imagine it to be, since the buildings are white and look Mediterranean from a distance. Perhaps the mountains are more from the Sierra Nevada in the US...whatever]. Huge crumbling chortens [stupas] dot the countryside and large rocks by the roadside are adorned with the Tibetan mantra Om Mani Padme Hum in bright Tibetan script.
In fact, after a while you find yourself sitting looking at your toenails and trying to decide whether it's time to cut them. Or some such banal thing. You stop looking at all the wow and start to get jaded. I keep mentally slapping myself - I'll be home in a week, and then I won't quite be able to believe I was here.