Prayer flags line bridges protecting pilgrims in remote canyons
A Tibetan local, behind is his summer yurt and tent. His summer camp site was well above 15,000 feet.
An unexpected snow storm. The snow actually acts as a insulator and kept me warm throughout the night.
At over 15,000 feet I often find myself short of breath, and have developed a practice of breathing in twice for every out breath. Skipping or holding my breath for a passing, dusty vehicle is out of the question and leaves me dizzy. I also seem to have developed a deep, dry cough that wakes me at night.
The culture is primarily Tibetan, with many locals unable to converse in Mandarin. This family invited me out of the rain for a lunch of Tsampa, tea and yak butter pan fried bread. I probably ate close to 2 sticks of Yak butter in 30 minutes.
Tsampa is a ground flour that is added to milk tea with yak butter. Once finished drinking the tea the flour is mashed into a ball then eaten with more yak butter.
Many of the villages have seen very little foreigners, and Esperanza loaded for a journey draws quite a crowd.
These are the coldest nights I have every experienced, every night around 2 am I wake up in a shiver and patiently wait for sleep and the sun to rise.
Elevation after a steep climb, 4677 m.
Old man with two grandchildren
The remote mountains are home to many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
The sun is fierce and warm throughout the day, but once it falls temperatures quickly fall.
A cold barren landscape, too high to for trees to grow, and little but small puddles of standing water.
A small roadside cafe, wild dogs are rampant, and I have been attached several times wild pedaling through villages.
A yurt with a yak dung burning stove will keep you warm throughout the season.