The lure of Tibet
Space and diversity - vastness and beauty.
The paradise of nature that is the landscape of Tibet combined with the blur of colour, people and smiles, creates a suspended magic that hovers over the country. The scenery is ever changing. Roads snake their way through undulating, deep-cut rock formations and climb and descend past clear, turquoise, reflective lakes and exhilarating snow-encrusted mountain ranges that loom powerfully in front of you. Paths twist round hairpin turns and hug ice-cold rivers, the very source of which you can trace. Barren space contrasts dramatically against fertile valleys and diverse rock type streaked with a kaleidoscope of minerals that have the ability to mesmerise! I have never seen such staggering and mysterious mountain shapes, textures and sizes.
Words fall short like stones thrown at stars"! Astounding sights and magnificent inhabitants.
The Tibetan people are like nothing else I have encountered. They are open and warm yet pious and humble. As the smile they so readily and genuinely give spreads - their eyes glint with a contagious happiness and every wrinkle in their weather-beaten face is accentuated. The Tibetans exude an inner wisdom and contentedness. Their simplicity and religious devotion is admirable, as is their continual struggle to keep their culture alive. The Chinese are very much encroaching this land. Their presence cannot be ignored whether it is all the Chinese shop signs, the military, or the surveillance cameras!
A country and people rich in all beauty, who inspire, liberate, educate, and fascinate the visitor.
You cannot help but feel the lure of Tibet.
One of my surreal experiences this trip included an outing to a disco/entertainment hall, where not only the performers but the clientele were mixing very amicably. There was singing, dancing, laughing and drinking. Whatever the drink ordered - everyone receives these tiny (almost shot) sized glasses! Men slow danced with women, men slow danced with men, women slow danced with other women, and everyone happily got up to get down to the (not so) latest English dance music! I had a very tall, well built, African client from London travelling with me. I have never witnessed such intrigue and fascination shown by the Tibetan people to this one man! Wherever he went he was shadowed by this staring following. Monks, women and children stopped dead in their tracks to gaze in awe at him! People even strained to peer through restaurant windows to watch him as he ate! Obviously Tibet doesn't receive many large dark-skinned guests! I had to thank him for attracting such a crowd and enabling me to capture some fantastic moments!
Tibet is a wonderful place - It managed to far exceed my expectations...and I had very high expectations to meet.
Travel in 2001