Meet Tsomo, a real nomad. She lives in a water proof tent made out of yak hair. The tent needs to be replaced after 3-4 years. Luckily, there’s plenty of yak hair around: her family of four owns 20 yaks, 20 goats, 40 sheep and one horse. Hot water is boiled on the solar cooker outside. Electricity comes from solar cells. The tent happens to be located next to a phone line, but she has no phone connection. Still, life is good. Thanks to
motor bikes, she doesn’t have to walk three hours every day to get water. Move to the city? No, she doesn't have such wishes. When she moves, it’s just a day’s distance to get to the winter camp. Her relatives live in tents nearby. When we visit, it’s just Tsomo and her little baby girl at home – her husband is out collecting the precious caterpillar fungus which will later be sold in Lhasa supermarkets for 50 RMB each.
The meeting with Tsomo happened on our last day in Tibet. We had traveled to 4,718 meters altitude to visit the highest salt-water lake in the world, Namtso lake. The elevation is breathtaking and can lead to severe altitude sickness but we already had a week of acclimatization, Mount Everest visiting, paracetamol and diamox. Now, feeling great and finally off the drugs. Only problem: the lake was gone. Well, at least we didn’t see much of it due to an early morning snow storm. But the nomad camp is right next to it and made the trip worthwhile as we had the chance to catch a glimpse of nomadic life.
A few more impressions from our Tibet adventure below.