Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Trailhead Dog of Namtso

Alice went to a slideshow about trekking in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan the other evening by Cathy Ann Taylor of Mountain Travel Sobek. She wanted to see how things had changed in Bhutan and Nepal since she had been there in 1985.
Lots more metal roofs in Bhutan. Thousands of new tourists from China in Tibet. Maoist troubles in Nepal are easing so travelers can go there again. Cathy Ann is married to a Tibetan man from Darjeeling. A few in the audience asked her how much of the tourist money from Tibet goes to Beijing and not the Tibetans. She punted that question saying the Dalai Lama encouraged *all* to travel to Tibet to see things for themsleves and tell about their experiences back in their own homes. Lots of new reconstruction of the old monasteries in Tibet from the damage during the Cultural Revolution. Much was flattened.
But they could not flatten Lake Namtso! It's already flat. I just hope the government authorities do not let happen to Namtso what the Soviets did to the Aral Sea. But Namtso is a saltwater lake, so hopefully it won't be desalinated and drained for agricultural use.
Alice's favorite slide was of one of Cathy Ann's tour groups sitting at a table on a lush yak and sheep mowed field by the shore of Namtso. A large white and blonde-patched dog was at their feet. Looked a bit like me! But with longer legs, neck and nose. Cathy Ann said he'd attached himself to her trekking party until the end of their trek when he wagged his tail and dashed off to follow the next trekking group at the trailhead.
I bet that dog has some good tales to tell. And I bet he's a champ at begging. A Google search of images located for Alice some pictures of Tibetan Mastiffs playing on the shore of Namtso, but none of that white and blonde dog yet.