We awoke with excitement today, for me it was going to be the achievement of twenty odd years ambitions, something that doesn’t happen very often in life – Lo Manthang.
Leaving Tsarang involved the now customary descent to cross the river and then ascent up the other side. With mountains to our right, we had a pretty level walk with a steep valley to our left. A pause for water and to rest the legs at the Sungda Chorten, was the prelude to a short, but not difficult ascent to the Sungda Pass at 3810 metres. The next section crossed a flat upland area which gave me my first glimpse of what I have long imagined the Tibetan plateau to be like – a wide dry and dusty valley and stunningly beautiful After four kilometres we had another ascent up to… Lo La (3960m). The Pass of Lo with our first views down to Lo Manthang. All I could muster to the others was “There she is..” before emotion got the better of me and my voice.
Down below us lay the capital of this most unique of countries – a country within a country. This was day five of a trek that had stretched and challenged us and here we were, looking down on our goal. The descent to Lo Manthang was a dusty affair but done in no short time and there we were at entrance to our hotel/tea house for the night with views across to the walls of the old city, then only walled town in Nepal. Exploration was for later. A late lunch and a celebratory beer was the first thing to tick off, followed by a shower in warm water and a chance to wash the dirt out of our clothes.