BOSSCLARK LEWIS CLARK EXPEDITION
Where do we start? We started in Beijing, and a plane took
us to Lhasa. The problem is how to describe what we found when we arrived.
Tibet is an amazing country: the people, the countryside, the laughter,
the religiousity. Below is just a snapshot of what we saw. Click on each
picture to see more!
|It took a while to adjust to the
altitude. Lhasa is 3700 meters above sea level, and we traveled
up to altitudes as high as 4000 meters. For those of you who can't
in meters, that's 13,233 feet above sea level! The result is that
you can get (and we did get) three seasons in one day: winter (complete
with snow and hail), spring (rain and winds) and summer (hot sun
and dust)! The most challenging were our trips from Lhasa to Gyantse
and Shigatze to Tsedang: crossing the passes each way we encountered
snow storms, and one after another stranded truck, bus, taxi or car.
But everyone took it as a great adventure. Check out this picture
of people pushing a bus over the pass at a height of 4,000 meters!
we went, we were a "tourist attraction" for the native
Tibetans. It wasn't just that we were foreigners, though. They were
fascinated with our hair -- Jaymie's hair and Ted's beard, to be
specific. But were were just as fascinated with theirs. Call it mutual
adoration! We loved the Tibetans. Their fierce adherence to
their religion and their language, their stamina and ability to survive.
We only wish we had been able to speak to them about their lives.
its "liberation" over
fifty years ago, Tibet is still a very religious place. The presence
of pilgrims is a constant: whether they be circling the Potala Palace
in the morning light; crawling and prostrating themselves in the
temples; or crossing mountains and traveling miles on a pilgrimage
to a holy monastary. Offerings of yak butter, barley, small trinkets
and money were everywhere. Most amazing were the colorful yak butter
mandalas like the one to the right.
visited many palaces and monasteries: the Sera and Deprung Monasteries
in Lhasa; the Palkchode Monastery in Gyantse; Tashilunbu Monastery
in Shigatse; and the Samye monastery in Tsedang. And of course, there
was the Dalai Lama's own Potala Palace, pictured at the left. Each
was unique in its own way, although we must admit that after a while
all the Buddhas began to run together. Click here for pictures of
the palaces and monasteries.
people, the places. And then there is the land itself! One spectacular
landscape after another. The heights may be daunting, but they are
worth it! We traveled around southeastern Tibet (around Lhasa) in
a four wheeled drive -- which was a necessity to navigate the roads
and the occassional shortcut (not that there was much difference
between the two!) The only stops between towns: a tent for tea and