Day 13-14: Xia He

by Paul Siebenaler. Our last day in Tibet was spent outdoors in the grasslands and valleys. We began the day with a morning hike through a valley that overlooked the monastery and the rest of the town. On the way up we were able to see a lot of the animals that the people use in their daily lives such as yaks and sheep. We concluded the hike, ate breakfast, and prepared for our trip to the grasslands and Buddhist temple. The bus ride there gave us some opportunities to hike a little bit through the grasslands as well as get some photo-ops with some of the animals. We continued on our  way and eventually reached our destination which was a massive mountain range with a river running through that created a pass. We ate lunch at the opening and then proceeded to hike and take in the sights. The last thing we had to do for the day was visit the Buddhist monastery in the town nearby. We arrived at the front gates of the monastery and were warned by our guide that a sheep who has been blessed by the High Llama lives in the monastery and is prone to attacking outsiders, especially men. We were told that we could tour the grounds on our own but to be careful because we would be on our own since most of the monks had the day off. After walking around for a little bit, I ended up meeting the sheep. After it began to get up and move toward me, I decided that it would be best to run down the hill toward my group and let them know where it was. After letting them know, some of my classmates decided to go look for it. Phrases such as “it’s not even that scary” were said but quickly ended when it started chasing the group. It especially went after two of the other guys in our group. To escape they hopped a rail and climbed onto the roof of a nearby building. In the end we made it safely back to the bus and left. Great day.
This was one of my favorite days because although I was excited for the hike, I was not excited for another monastery tour. I thought it would be just like our last one. I quickly realized not to assume anything will go according to plan and it ended up being one of the funniest parts of this trip thus far.

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