Abstract=We will visit Buchu and Lamoling G before joining the southern bank of the Brahmaputra river and Meling where we will lunch before continuing along the sandy banks of the river up to Nang Dz.
Bayi. We take a sort of coffee in a modern bar before taking to the road. The weather is cloudy. We take the road to Buchu while following the western valley, which is very wide and well cultivated.
In a large valley on the right a small but terrible path leads to the very characteristic monastery of Lamoling with its gilded roofs with 8 sides which resembles those of the Chinese pagodas. There are two Dukhangs containing giant statues of Cakyamouni. As Zangdok Pelri means mythic paradiser of Guru Rinpoche, it is very venerated. The Rinpoche has a high level of the ancient rule of red hats.
The unit is splendid and we note the presence of numerous Tibetan pilgrims. Before leaving, a young Tibetan nun offers us tea on tables located outside in front of the kitchens. There are several small monasteries (one is a monastery of nuns) on the heights in the neighborhood but no view from where we are.
We return on the main road and 1 kilometer along the road back to Bayi we take a path to enter the village of Buchu.
We find a small monastery which seems very old. In the courtyard, flower-beds and a dog attached by a long rope to a small bell. It is one of the templesbuilt by the king Srongtsen gampo during the 7th century with the objective to fight the hostility of the ogress who was the first inhabitant of Tibet. Inside, on each side, there are wall shelves containing a complete collection of Tandjur and Kangjur (holy texts) and several golden chortens (stupas). The room at bottom is very dark with a large statue of Avalokitesvara and several golden chortens.
The road follows this very broad valley of the Nyang chu River until it joins the Brahmaputra River.
At this place a group of Tibetans are carving mantras on a stone rock! We try to look on the opposite river bank the remains of the monastery of Temo Chamnak which was destroyed but is in the process of been rebuilt.
I take a picture with the telephoto lens but I find I missed the target because I did not distinguish anything significant on my picture. Tibetans we question confirm there is no passage here to reach the other bank and that the track S of the Brahmaputra is impracticable to our car. I can remember with our last day experience when driving between Nyingtri and Yungdrungling gompa. I was looking forward to visit these places and feel deeply disappointed that we were delayed 2 days in Pome because of the road block. We are thus forced to carry on towards Lhasa. To succeed in my objectives completely, we should mix treks and 4x4 days, and consequently double the duration of the voyage.
We go up the wide valley of the Brahmaputra in the direction of Bangda Bridge. The Brahmaputra River flows in the west from the Kailas peak crossing the numerous central provinces and in the E through very narrow and deep gorges before crossing the Himalayas, the Assam Hills and Bangladesh.
When questionning people at the level of the bridge we also learn that the road of Tashi Rabden gompa is not passable.
We cross the bridge and travel W towards Meling, a new Chinese Prefecture. Here we discover a Tibetan dish containing rice, roast potatoes and yak meat which is quite delicious.
We follow the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River. A little later, we pass Nelung. In Nelung, we do not forget the pretty young mother who held her baby in her arms and whose smile is of such beauty as to catch your breath. She unfortunately refuses to be photographed. Our driver encourages us to continue until Nang Dzong where we are sure to meet friends. The Brahmaputra narrows and sand banks appear.
We pass the dunes which can be 100 to 200 meters high compared with the level of the river. The villages are nearly non-existent and the vegetation is again desert.
We go along the Brahmaputra River which sweeps towards north.
At the northern part of the loop we discover the site of an old metal suspended bridge by two small hills in the bed of the rivers that are covered by long lungta banners.
Tibet was, in the past, noted for the quality of their weapons. The Chinese army bought most the weapons they need. During the 14th and the 15th century, Tangtong Gyelpo built nearly a hundred metallic bridges. Those crossing the Brahmaputra make jumps of 150 to 250 meters as we can see it at this place. Unfortunately the last ones disappeared at the end of the 19th century.
In Nang Dz, the Chinese city is different, with a crossing with 3 curved streets located on a hillside. The guesthouse was being refurbished and there remained only one empty room without a lock. There is neither hot water, nor electricity, but workmen continue to work at the light of weak electric bulbs powered by a small autonomous generator. We remain calm and join in town the guide and our driver who has found here a group of friends in a restaurant. More than ten different dishes were brought, the evening is animated although we cannot participate in the discussions. On our return, the new fitted carpet was laid as well as the lock fitted. The beds are there, prepared and the covers and sheets look clean...