Highest altitude (on land) - any of the meals we had in Tibet which has an average elevation exceeding 4,500 metres (14,800 ft).
Most of Tibet consists of an immense plateau with an altitude of 4000-5000 meters, fortified by the mighty Himalayas. Adrenaline rushing through our veins and the thrill of the adventure spurring us on, we got up early in the morning to explore one of the remaining gems of Tibet. The first ones to arrive at the Gyantse Kumbum, it was the magical hour as the first warm rays filtered over the mountain and lit up the golden domes of the temple. Drumming from within the temple hardly disturbed the sleeping lumps of fur posing as dogs, while pilgrims started their morning 'koras' and prostrations. The dark interior chapels were lit by yak butter lamps. The flickering lights danced on ghoulish masks and paintings of grotesque demons; portraying our self-created hell on earth. Using this fear and the accompanying superstitions as a control, the monks rush in to protect the flock from harm.