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Postcard from Everest Base Camp

(Please click on an image to see it enlarged)



Dear All,

After rolling its way effortlessly through the mighty wall of the Himalayas The Oriental Caravan has now come to rest in the temple strewn Nepalese capital of Kathmandu.

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Mt. Everest at sunset

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Two young monks

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Kumbum Stupa, Gyangtse

 Leaving Lhasa we crossed the Karo La pass and travelled along the banks of Scorpion Lake to Gyangtse, perhaps the last well preserved town in Tibet and home to the great Kumbum stupa.

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Pilgrims watch the monks debate at Sakya

It was also at the dzong or fort in Gyangtse that the British and Tibetan armies engaged in battle at the time of the Younghusband expedition back in 1904.

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Looking across Gyangtse towards its monastery

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Dancing skeleton (Wall relief at Nechung 'Oracle' Monastery, Lhasa)

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Conch shell bracelet, common in the Tingri region of Tibet

In Shigatse, Tibet's second city, we visited Tashilhunpo monastery, empty home of the missing Panchen Lama. 

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Pilgrims read a monastery entrance ticket at Sakya

As we continued our journey south  we detoured east from the main trail to visit the mighty temple complex of Sakya, home to a huge library of ancient Buddhist texts and once administrative capital of Tibet.

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Girl with turquoise earring at Sakya

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Crossing the Pang La en route to Everest Base Camp

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Prayer flags, Gyatso La

Some of the passes we crossed were over 5000m and thanks to clear blue skies for most of the way we were afforded some stunning views.

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Looking from Rongbuk towards Everest

A highlight of the trip, however, was definitely the visit to Rongbuk - this is the monastery that Tintin was brought to after stumbling through the Himalayas in search of his lost friend Chang.

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Pilgrims spin prayer wheels at Sakya

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En route to Everest

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Prayer flags

Nearby is Everest Base Camp. Good weather forced us back from our attempt on the summit - basically it was far too sunny to waste a day climbing the highest mountain in the world - even if it was there! 

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Riding the Dragon

That's about it for now. The Oriental Caravan will spend the next couple of weeks researching an exciting new trek for next years programme (in the Langtang region of Nepal) and hopes to be back in the UK in mid-October. 

Until then our very best wishes are with you all,

From Phil and all aboard The Oriental Caravan 

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Tantalizingly close! The Oriental Caravan's chief caravaneer, Phil Colley, stands inches away from the summit of Everest.

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A spinning man spinning.

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             Revised and last updated: November 20th 2013. Links