August 7, 2007: Ganden to Samye Trek Day Three
Tsotup-Chu Valley to Chitu-La (5,100 M) to Herder's Camps
Woke up early and had the urge to go to the bathroom. I don't think that yak stew from last night
became me so well... Breakfast was at 7:30 am and at 8:15 am Marc and I started the trek up to the
Chitu-La. I went ahead as I had another bathroom urge (3 consecutive days of yak meat took their
toll) and Marc followed a few minutes later.  It took us about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get up to the
pass at 5,100 meters, a relatively easy, gentle uphill hike.
At the top of the pass, we took a couple of pictures, let some of the yak men pass and then went
down the other side where we passed a couple of lakes and then descended a steep gorge.
At the bottom of
this gorge, we
passed the first of
quite a few nomad
tents in this valley.
Tsering, Marc and I
ate our lunch here
and then continued
descending the
valley now through
lush vegetation.
Around a bend there was another nomad tent and Tsering told us that we were welcome to go inside.
So, all of a sudden, we were sitting inside a nomad tent with several of the yakmen from the other
hiking groups. The lady nomad gave buttertea to everybody, but, lucky for us (?), we only got offered
Tibetan bread which tasted excellent. After a little while, we said our thanks and Marc and I
continued our descend.
As Marc and I were ahead of everybody, we decided to wait. So we found a nice spot and stretched
out on the grass. We let some of the yak groups pass and then joined a couple of fellow hikers. We
passed some more nomad tents, all fiercily protected by those nasty looking Tibetan Mastiff Dogs.
We kept descending through a lovely green valley until around 3:30 pm when we arrived at our
campsite. Most of the other groups kept going and only the American couple from Portland with
their Vietnamese companion and us were at this site. Beautiful campsite, quiet, on the river, much
nicer than the campsite from the night before. We were sitting around in the warm sun, talking for a
good 2 hours. Our cook invited everybody for dinner, so at 6:30 pm, he served food using
everything he had left. As I did not feel like eating more yak meat, I asked him to prepare fried rice
for me which was delicious. In the meantime, the others all feasted on the remaining yak.
After dinner, we continued
sitting around and talked.
Marc's ipod worked again
as we were at lower
altitude  and the Tibetans
were listening to his ipod
rap stuff. We went to bed
around 9 pm and had a
great night sleep.
Approach to
Chitu-La