Among The Tibetans By Isabella L. Bird























































 -   Of the three lofty passes on this route, the Toglang, which is
higher, and the Baralacha, which is lower, are - Page 90
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Of The Three Lofty Passes On This Route, The Toglang, Which Is Higher, And The Baralacha, Which Is Lower, Are Featureless Billows Of Gravel, Over Which A Carriage Might Easily Be Driven.

Not so is the Lachalang, though its well-made zigzags are easy for laden animals. The approach to it

Is fantastic, among precipitous mountains of red sandstone, and red rocks weathered into pillars, men's heads, and numerous groups of gossipy old women from thirty to fifty feet high, in flat hats and long circular cloaks! Entering by red gates of rock into a region of gigantic mountains, and following up a crystal torrent, the valley narrowing to a gorge, and the gorge to a chasm guarded by nearly perpendicular needles of rock flaming in the westering sun, we forded the river at the chasm's throat, and camped on a velvety green lawn just large enough for a few tents, absolutely walled in by abrupt mountains 18,000 and 19,000 feet in height. Long after the twilight settled down on us, the pinnacles above glowed in warm sunshine, and the following morning, when it was only dawn below, and the still river pools were frozen and the grass was white with hoar-frost, the morning sun reddened the snow-peaks and kindled into vermilion the red needles of Lachalang. That camping-ground under such conditions is the grandest and most romantic spot of the whole journey.

Verdureless and waterless stretches, in crossing which our poor animals were two nights without food, brought us to the glacier-blue waters of the Serchu, tumbling along in a deep broad gash, and farther on to a lateral torrent which is the boundary between Rupchu, tributary to Kashmir, and Lahul or British Tibet, under the rule of the Empress of India.

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