Our tour leader Geraldine found out from the hotel owner about this tiny remote village high up in the valley where tourists never get to go – his family live there in the Summer months, coming into Lama Yuru over Winter as it’s just too cold. We’d all agreed head out there late afternoon to catch the nice light before sunset, & it took us about 30 mins to drive out on our most adventurous road yet – at one point, I said I’d get out & walk over a particularly bumpy section as I was sure the car would topple over, but I hung on for dear life in my seat anyway.
We arrived in the village set amidst this desert valley with small pastures of millet growing here & there, a spattering of old housing ruins, & enormous mountains surrounding it. We only got to meet one family (Mum, Dad, son), who were very hospitable (& probably curious as to why these Westerners were even here at all). The thing that hit me most here was the peacefulness – incredible. While the others were off taking photos, I befriended the 3 baby calves, then sat for some time with the Mum drinking in the serenity of the place – so incredibly calming & soothing for the soul. Even though they lived in the simplest of ways – in tiny dark smoke-filled huts – there was an obvious authenticity to this basic lifestyle.
We watched as they herded in their goats – I kind of got in the way a bit as they were coralling them into their pens for the eve, but avoided a mini stampede. We all got to try some of their barley (or rice) wine, which wasn’t too strong, & quite tasty.
As the sun began to set, the day got really cold (I was wearing 3 layers & was still chilly). The mountains then lit up in gorgeous golden & pink hues & I felt as far away from ‘civilisation’ as one could possibly be.