Altitude and attitude!

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Barkor Namchen House

Flag of China  , Xizang,
Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Day : 42
Temperature :  27 degrees
Weather :   Sunny with a few clouds

Altitude :  3,650m –  5,190m

It's been a whirlwind of a few days in Tibet and we are pretty exhausted. Of course, altitude doesn’t help….essentially, in the space of 5 days we have gone from 500m altitude to 5,200m altitude!! And this seems to be doing it slowly in comparison to many other people whom we have met along the way. 

Yesterday we visited the Nam-Tso Lake, the most sacred lake in Tibet which is visited by many pilgrims, the most devout of whom take up to nine days to walk around it.  The Nam-Tso Lake is the highest salt water lake in the world and sits at an altitude of 4,700m above sea level – but first you have to cross the La Ken La Pass which is at an altitude of 5, 190m. After crossing the pass and arriving at the lake we stopped for lunch at one of the small restaurants in the "tourist" area. We were all slightly feeling the effects of the altitude change.  My breathing was 19-20 breaths per minute (compared to 11-12 at sea level) and my resting pulse was 80 beats per minute  (compared to 55 at sea level). Anyway, after a fairly bland lunch we set off around the lake and headed away from the tourists. When I say tourists I mean the Chinese tourists, of which there were hundreds! This seems to be typical everywhere in China…lots of Chinese tourists!! Anyway, I digress, the lake is absolutely beautiful, the most  vivid turquoise colour, and backed by red and brown hills with snow covered mountains piercing the clouds….see the pictures, although they don’t do the lake justice! After a gentle stroll for nearly 2 hours we arrived back at the car absolutely exhausted….walking even very slowly at this altitude is hard work! We headed back for Lhasa, but after crossing the high pass again for the second time my head started pounding. Both Renske and Kevin were also suffering….our guide Tashi was on his 10th fag of the day!! The road back to Lhasa descended to about 4,700m and maintained this altitude for about 2 hours…… this point my head was absolutely pounding and I felt terrible!!  Finally the road wound it’s way down the mountains and by the time we had reached 4,000m my headache had almost gone…incredible! Our driver finally dropped us off in the early evening and we had a short walk back to our hotel which actually felt like 3 miles and nearly finished us off as we were all feeling tired and grumpy by this point.  We downed some water, painkillers and altitude medication and trudged out for a bite to eat barely able to speak to each other! Some sugar filled Coca-Cola and decent food did the trick and we were feeling much better within an hour or so, but we were still pretty tired so we turned in early to get some much needed zzzzz’s.

Tomorrow we head off for our 5 day trip to Nepal……so check back soon for all the latest news and hopefully (fingers crossed!) some photos of Everest if the clouds clear….. 

Dom :-D

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Eileen on

Running out of adjectives to describe your fab photos .... :o)

I just LOVE this blog xx

Martin on

Hi D & K,

So it's a bit hilly, and the air gets thin.. big deal.. !! Ok ok I'm kidding.. sounded hard work just resting.. Amazing ( well breath taking actually )

Fab pictueres.... keep them coming...

Big hugs

M x

Doms Brother on

Lake pictures look great. Can help ask if the lake is "dead" or is there fish and any fishing, no pics of boads etc so that's why I ask ? Looks a bit chilly for swimming !!! Ants

nomadic-brands on

hey everyone! so nice to hear your comments....glad you are enjoying it all.
Ants - the lake is salty and according to our guide there are no fish in it. We did pass another lake which is fresh water and it was full of fish, but not many Tibetans eat fish so there were no boats fishing on that lake either.

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