Pilgrimage to the holy waterfall

On the 2nd day in Yubeng, we hiked to the holy waterfall where Tibetan pilgrims come to pray. The tradition is to circle the waterfall an odd number of times getting your clothes wet as the waterfall blesses and cleanses you. The hike was 7km one way, about 6 hours round trip up to 11,800 after passing through lower Yubeng at 10,000 ft. We saw a holy rock where local Tibetans believe a gateway to the heavens opened up many years ago and so they hang ropes and rock from it. Another rock had money stuck to it as an offering. Of course there were thousands of prayer flags, hundreds of yaks or mules, and cairns made in the shape of stupas as prayers to the mountain god everywhere you went. 8 of us got wet from the cold waterfall and hung prayer flags. We met a couple groups of Tibetan pilgrims on our way. I was amazed at the old ladies seen here with Zea who walked ever so slowly up the mountain with their canes but never stopped long for a break, just enough to catch their breath. Their only food was dried yak cheese tied in clumps on strings around their necks. I didn’t even ever see them pull out a water bottle, while I finished off 2.5 quarts. It was an interesting learning experience for all.

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