Thursday 4 December 2014

Day 173: Dolpo day 4 - Phoksundo Lake

No fake Yaks to be seen
For those who know the film Himalaya, Phoksundo Lake features the yak disaster.  After a night camping on the lake shore, we walked along the path cut into the basin's rocky walls and Krishna, who worked on the film back in 1997, pointed out the spot where it fell.  "But it wasn't a real yak," he apologised.  No doubt they had to include a line in the credits saying "no people or animals were harmed in the making of this film".  I glanced down into copper sulphate-coloured water and wondered if a fake yak still bobs around.

Each twist of the path brought us to another iridescent view, another of the lake's tentacles splaying outwards towards snow-capped peaks.  At a col high above the shore, the sky turned red-blue-yellow-white-green as a thicket of prayer flags flickered over the water.  At last we turned left into a side-valley and passed a Tibetan camp.  By now the sight of a grey Tibetan tent, large enough to stand up and walk around in, with a hole cut for a chimney, had become familiar.  Smoke wafted into the air marking its place as we left the camp behind.  But it was the last glimpse of Phoksundo Lake, not the campsite, that we turned back to find until finally it disappeared in the elbow of the valley.

The mist quickly cleared to reveal a beautiful blue sky
Starting off along the side of the lake
Looking back at the campsite at Ringmo
Krishna rounding "Yak Fall Point" 
Looking back at the monastery  
Nigel flying the flag
Prayer flags over Phoksumdo
A beautiful hidden valley on the other side of the lake.
It appeared to be only accessible by water.
Unfortunately boats are forbidden as Phoksumdo is a  sacred lake.
Nigel and Susan take in the view 
Autumn at Phoksumdo 
Yaks and goats share the pasture north of the lake.
Our campsite for night 4. 
Dol Badu relaxing around the camp fire
Camp, night 4
Keeping warm 1
Keeping warm 2
Keeping warm 3

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