April 2011, Leaving Tingri after a night of rest from visiting Qomolangma (Mt.Everest) base camp the day before. We are heading to Shigatse (Xigazè) for the night, and it is during this journey that we get to experience four seasons in just a few short hours.

four seasons in a few hours of riding from Tingri to Shigatse

Tingri, at an elevation of 4300m, was snowing during the night, but the day was cool with temperature like autumn. Clearing the snow from the canvas of our sidecar, we head towards Gyatso La Pass (5248m), the entrance and exit of Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. It is also the highest point of the Friendship Highway (China-Nepal) and westernmost part of Chine National Highway G318 (Shanghai-Zhangmu). It was thinly covered by snow when we enter days before, but this time a meter high of snow completely change the landscape into a ‘nothing but white’ winter landscape, feels you are in Antarctica or an icy planet. But when you are 5km closer to the sun, it is not chilling cold if you can hide from the freezing wind which is the real killer.

slippery when wet, but good to have a third wheel.
Gyatso La Pass, also known as Jia Tsuo La or Lhakpa La
The highest toilet within the region. The restroom is on the top floor and the drop zone below for collection.

From here we make a sharp descend to Lhazê, to an elevation of 4000m. it was a cool temperate from this point. we have to remove a layer from our jacket as the spring is here. We had a butter tea break at a local guesthouse before we embark on a final stretch to Shigatse. We have to ascend to the elevation of about 4200m towards the village of Resa (Resaxiang), before final descend along G318 towards Shigatse. Along the way, we have to make more stops due to the rising temperature within our jacket, removing each layer of inner wear at every stops. From the chilling cold and freezing wind to the scorching heat from the summer sun, at 3800m closer to the sun from sea level. It was unforgiving and what an experience of our Mother Earth.

A mother and child. though we can’t understand each other, but our sign language and names of location helps. I learned she had never been to Lhasa, a holy pilgrimage destination, even though it is only 300km from where we met. Hope she will find a way there one day…
Just another hot and lazy afternoon…
Mural details in a monastery
Chinese guardian lions or Imperial guardian lions signifies the close relation between Tibet and past Chinese dynasty. Though the use of lion symbolism can be traced back to influence from Indian culture through Buddhism.
No language barrier, it is an ice breaker and a talking point…always!
Road works are everywhere, without waiting for hours of delay. we search for a by pass and well.. we are stuck in the sand.
Auspicious mantra on the face of mountains you will find throughout the journey.
A bridge connecting two monastery building.
A cluster of stupas.
Just a solar tea kettle.
Dried Yak dung, as a fuel to keep you warm at night or day, boil your tea and cook your meal with added aroma.
A newly constructed house against a weathered and disused structure, the harsh climate is unforgiving, very!

Acknowledgement : A excellent tour arranged by Sidecar Rally China