Bjamdabchen is a small meadow surrounded by oak forests, where herders from Sombaykha graze their cattle every autumn. We’ve set up camp in that meadow. I’ve latched on to a caravan traveling to Sipsoo – they’re carrying smoke-dried cardamom and will return with rice, salt, tea, cooking oil and clothes. So, there are quite a few of us at the camp.

We have a roaring fire going. Dinner’s cooking. Ap Gep Tsheri is singing praises to his root guru. And, Rinchen is coaxing him to sing about beautiful Seldon. This is an unscheduled treat.

But, tomorrow will be a struggle. We start trekking at 4:00 AM! Otherwise, I’m told, we won’t make it to Sipsoo.


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