Pashoe-Shubden G-Rawok-Pome

carte jour 2
Abstract= Visit of the monastery located on the northern bank of the river then S. We visit Rumbu G and reach the ruins of Shubden G. then we continue in the Westerly direction, cross Rawok and reach Pome in the evening.

Pashoe. In the morning, we visit of the monastery of Nera Gönsar Tsedrup Tapdenling. There is a bridge which crosses the river and carries on straight to the monastery which is half way up the bank, however it is unsafe and is barred. We must cross another bridge located 2 km further W and return by the other bank up to the front of the gate of the monastery which is facing E. We enter a first court then a second where the Dukhang (6x6 pillars) is.

This monastery founded by Tönwatönden contains the statues of Cakyamuni, Tsongkapa and Tsepame(Amitayus). We also visit a meditation chapel on the first floor. As in Drayap we have a good view on the city at our feet.

We return on the main road and go up the valley. It is a V shaped, but with a flat section (like a small plate) which is 50m above the water level of the river. This part is cultivated whereas the remainder of the landscape is a desert.

We pass through several villages, Trashide with a chorten on the right of the road. The valley divides and we take the southern road.

The valley becomes broader, completely deserted, no dwellings, only herds of yaks.

The village of Rumbu is 300m from the road, at the entry of a side valley which splits in two. A track leads us to the village. In the center of it, we discover a large chorten 25m high in poor condition. It rises in the middle of a large monastery distroyed by the Chineses who have redistributed the land and is now in the middle of farm houses. The old monastery also included separate buildings on a site more in the W of the valley where the monks withdrew and where teaching is made.

Here the new monastery was rebuilt. Behind the enclosure we enter a courtyard and the Dukhang is opposite. This plan is the same one for all the temples in Tibet. As for Drayap, constructions are rustic and indicate a certain archaism.

We go up the valley then fork towards Dokha pass. The sky is grey.

While going down we go along successively to two small lakes before penetrating in a narrow valley.

Here and there the vegetation seems to return as we have drop below 3000m.

The valley is narrower.

At the exit of this valley there is a splendid panorama: we have just reached a large E-W valley, bordered by the high summits of the Himalayas in the S. There is a daoban (or mobile road maintenance house) and the road splits into two, on the left the road towards India and Yunnan, and on the right, after the bridge, the road to Lhasa. We see lakes upstream and downstream from the point where we are. The workmen of the daoban whom we question do not know the area and cannot provide us with any information. We then decide to drive to the monastery of Shubden G in the south-eastern direction.

The road is as bad as the previous one and full of ruts. We go along a large lake. We continue in the valley and approach a second large lake. On a hill on our left we are looking for the monastery I am seeking.

Arriving close to a village, we take a way on the left and the car manages to reach half way up the slope. We continue on foot and climb to the summit. We discover enormous sections of wall in ruins and Olivier takes some pictures by crossing the last meters leading to the top.

To the south the large circular lake mirrors a reversed image of the Himalayan barrier which closes the horizon. The spectacle is imposing but unfortunately the weather is cold. The pictures taken show a unique but icy spectacle. I regret having imposed such an effort on the driver but how can one form an opinion without being on the spot because numerous monasteries considered in ruins are currently in the course of being rebuilt. We return on the level of the Daoban and of the bridge which we cross and after a few kilometers we arrive at the E end of the lake and enter the village of Rawok, which bears the same name as the lake. We are hungry hence the first restaurant is welcome. We make a good choice, because the only fresh vegetables here are small mushrooms from woods and as Olivier is fond of them, he has a feast.

At the exit of the village a large chorten. We go along the lake for nearly ten kilometers. This ends by a series of falls. Behind the lake, the Himalayan range separates us from a very close India.

The road is narrow and bordered by fir trees. The landscape becomes suddenly Alpine for a few kilometers before crossing a zone where the Chinese forestry has wrecked the landscape. The trees were roughly cut at one meter from the groundand and the trunk then torn from the top to the ground. The sight of such mutilation strikes the westeners's eyes with horror at such vandalism. It seems that the stock remains in life but the forest is not able to recover by itself. I think that the Chinese intentions are honest but they do not have qualified people to execute successfully their programs. We see wood piles along the road and some sawmills.

We do not cross Chinese Tibetan villages but some Chinese compounds. It is when the valley widens that we arrive rather late in the prefecture or city of Pome where we find the guesthouse which is quite full.

Here we learn that the road to Lhassa is again cut, the last repair not having held 24 hours and that vehicles had been carried down the ravine by new landslides. Then as the traffic is stopped, most prefer to wait for the opening of the road in a guesthouse than to sleep in the open between two trucks.

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