Day 5 – June 16 – The upper Markha valley

The valley above Markha became increasingly spectacular. A knife-edge spire was visible from the town, and more overlooked each side valley. In the afternoon, the valley widened enough to give views of Kang Yatze, the 6400-meter peak overlooking the pass we will need to cross.

About two hours above Markha, we took a side trip up a hill to another small monastery. Like others in the valley, this belonged to the Drukpa sect based in Bhutan. It was staffed by a single aging monk sent over the pass from Hemis monastery. The locals were building a house fort the monk at the base of the hill so he would not have to make the 50-meter climb so frequently.

Near our campsite was a water-driven barley mill. The age-old device was fully automatic, with a small arm letting through a few grains at a time from a hopper onto the millstone. The ground flour fell in a mound around the turning stone. This seemed far more advanced than similar mills we had seen in Nepal, which had to be attended.

Leave a Reply