Day 64: Baiyu (白玉) – August 20

Not able to find a ride out of town, we sat down for a meal at a local Tibetan restaurant. After breakfast, we headed to another…. you guessed it, a monastery! And the road there was, once again, extremely bumpy. We’re pretty much used to 3+hrs of bumpy roads nowadays, and time really moves by quickly.

When we got to Gatorsi (嘎拖寺), we realized why it put a name for itself. Not sure how it was built, but the whole thing was built off the side of a 4000M tall mountain!?!? And this monastery was built back in 1159AD !!!!! Seriously, this monastery is so far away from any pockets of civilization, it would’ve been great for solitary study but, how did they get there in the first place!?!?!?

History Lesson: This monastery is also 1 of 6 most important monasteries for Nyingma sect,宁玛派(红教)六大寺院之一. It was said that Guru Rinpoche (蓮花生大士) studied in the area and blessed the mountain, and beneath the monastery lies a large rock with a naturally occuring word, “Ga”.

Being easily spotted as outsiders, the locals were very friendly once again and helped us lock down a lama to unlock the doors to show us around the mandala. The mandala was ridiculously opulent, as it is plated with gold! It as so shiny, I was sort of glad the sun didn’t shine too bright this afternoon….

On our way back, we passed by a village famous for its craftsman in the art of Tibetan sword-making. From the outside it was just like any other village, but when we asked around we were lead into a local craftsman’s house. Unfortunately, just like most crafts of prior generations, there are very few people willing to continue on this way of life, instead choosing other higher paying jobs.

And then we were ‘stuck in traffic’ for 1.5hrs….. Not that there were too many people, but there was construction going on and they wouldn’t let anyone pass through the ONLY road leading back into the city. I really don’t know what they’re constructing, because it’s still bumpy was hell….

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