Hmmm hh huh hmm... the hermit.

Trip Start Aug 05, 2007
Trip End Oct 01, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Saturday, August 18, 2007

We headed over to the nearby nunnery in the morning. They have a small medical clinic there but they don't have any medicines so we gave them a few things that we had. They offered for us to sit down in the reception area and brought us all some butter tea. By this stage most of us were well and truly sick of yak butter tea so we politely pretended to drink a little and then left the rest. The nun kept coming by though and filling our cups a tiny little bit even though we hadní»t drunk any.
Butter tea is tea and yak butter churned together. Anything to do with yak, whether it is meat, butter or milk has this very particular taste which I cant describe. So ití»s basically hot, salty, oily, weird tasting liquid.

We had a look around the nunnery and went into their big prayer room. The nuns were praying that day so we listened to them for a little while, its very cool chanting.

Then we started our hike up the hill to see the hermit. It wasnt that far but we took it very slowly because of the altitude. We would walk up about 20 metres or so and then stop for a rest. Sounds like we're really unfit huh. the great thing up there was that no matter how fit every body was, we all walked just as slowly as eachother. I'm certainly not the fittest person so normally im at the back going slower than everyone else. For some reason the high altitude seems to level everyones fitnes..

The hermit has his little room up at the top of the hill beside a cave. He does actually communicate by syaing words without opening his mouth. He also does talk, but he will only speak prayers. We videod him talking a bit... take a look. He actually speaks quite well apparently for someone who doesnt open their mouth. Tenzin could pretty much understand everything he was saying. I guess he has had 20 years of practice.

We stayed with him for over an hour. His little room was tiny and it was packed to the rafters with the 10 of us in there, bt he seemed to enjoy the company. He made us some tea... he asked whether we wanted butter tea or sweet tea. We all firmly suggested sweet tea. He also made us some bread. He went into his little kitchen and made some dough, kneaded it and baked us little tortilla type breads. It was great.

Then we ventured up to his cave where he usually meditates. He had a little rock in there which had a swirl of colour which apparently looks like the dalai lama. They are all so desperate to see photos of Him that they keep anything that even resembles it. More on that later at the end of the trip when we are outside of China.

We made the journey back down the hill and hopped into the hot springs for a bit of a wash. They were great. They were seperated into male and female so the 3 of us girls left the boys. There were some tibetan girls in there. Some were in the water and some had just gotten out and were getting changed. All of a sudden as we walked in, we found all eyes on us. They were absolutely fascinated with our bodies. The other 2 girls had to change into their togs (bathing suit) so the tibetan woman were staring, pointing and laughing. They were just fascinated to see if we had the same bits that they do. I already had mine on but had planned to wear some board shorts. When they saw me putting them on they kept telling me not to wear them. Everytime i said no, and tried to put them on again they would all say no, no. and pointing to the tibetans who were already in there naked. So i decided to skip the shorts but stuck with the togs. When we caught up with the guys we found it was much the same on their side. The tibetan guys in there were all standing together and staring at their bits as well.

After a lovely soak in the hot springs we were all very warm and refreshed and made our way back to camp on the bus. Along the way we had to stop and wait for the yak to clear the road. Felt a bit like waiting for cows or sheep in australia.

That night we were allowed to have some alcohol. We'd all complained so much that Tenzin gave in. We had some wine and cheese and some beer. Even with the cup in his mouth you can tell that Mark is happy about that.
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