Difficult Journey to Lake Tsombo

We were going to begin a difficult journey today. That’s why we went to the breakfast hall of the hotel to have a good breakfast. But I could say that it was a complete disappointment. The service was not ready when we got there. There was a self-service but there was only rice and tea. Tea was always with milk and sugar here. They put a very little amount of tea, so there was no tea after 4 people. There were at least 10 people in the breakfast hall. Bringing tea again lasted 10 to 15 minutes. After we had our breakfast with rice and tea, we met our tour guide and driver and started our journey.

We were going to Lake Tsombo today. But we visited the Hindu Temple, Baba Mandir first.

The most interesting thing in that temple, which was located on a hill, was the chimney shaped like a cone with holes. The chimney provided incense and fume to go out.

In one room below the temple, there were ten children getting religious education by one teacher. We handed out the notebooks, pencils and rubbers to children by taking permission from the teacher, of course.

We were watching the city covered with fog from the temple. It was very impressive.

After visiting that temple, we went to a local restaurant opposite the temple. We ate a special bread made of cracked rice. It has been saying that the bread was actually special to Nepal and it was only made for festivals. By the way, we watched the preparation of Momos which was like our Mantı in taste but the bigger version of it. You can put various ingridients such as chicken, vegetables and cheese in Momos.

After meal, a kind of spice and candy shaped like rectangular lentil was brought to our table to fresh and take the smell away. Sometimes, it was served as a mixture of spice and candy. Even though it was a local restaurant, toilets and kitchen was spotless.

You need to get a permission to go to Lake Tsombo. Besides personal permission, you also need a permission for vehicle. That’s why we changed our car and got a four-wheel drive instead.

The most affected region in Sıkkım on September 18, 2011 by the earthquake measured 6,5 was around Lake Tsombo. That’s why the roads had been damaged a lot. But we were lucky that the road which had been closed by an earthquake was opened five days before we came in. While we were on the road, we saw the damaged and collapsed buildings. Even though 40 days passed after the earthquake, people still lived in rambling tents.

The road through Lake Tsombo was very narrow and crooked. The road had been damaged before and now it’s been worse because of the earthquake. If one of the cars on the road got stuck in the mud, the others had to wait for it. Because the road had only one way, one side was a mountain while the other side was abyss. There wasn’t even a barrier to prevent cars getting into the abyss.

Road Works have been still continuing. We saw women breaking the rocks with sledgehammer. It was interesting that  women have been working as hard as men have in such a hard job.

But they had still their make-ups even though they were breaking rocks and carrying stone chips. Women are the same women in everywhere! It was interesting that one shovel was being used by two people. One of them was holding the shovel and the other one was pulling the rope and helping  was getting higher, damages on the road were getting serious. We saw giant rocks fell on the roads. As we were climbing to the top, we started to see the snow. Even if the fog was deep and the weather was cold, we got warm by the excitement of being closer to the lake.



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