After having a mesmerising stay alongside the Mansarovar lake we moved to a place called Darchin which is a 30 mins drive from Mansarovar. We stayed in Darchin for the night and were instructed to pack only the necessary stuff for the parikrama. In this article I won't dwell on the three day parikrama as enough is available in terms of route and pertinent issues on the internet. I would just say that if one is in good shape and health permits , one should go ahead and complete the parikrama.
Certain important suggestions based on experience.
1. The high altitude medicine Diamox should only be taken if one feels altitude sickness. Carry Oximeter for checking the oxygen levels.
2. Drink as much water as possible. It's very very important to remain hydrated.
3. Buy one oxygen cylender from Darchin or as many as required in consideration of your health. One cylender wont last more than 40 large pufs.
4. Do not carry too many things to eat as during tha yatra there is continuous provision of food at all the halts. Even while doing the parikrama one can halt and have green tea and some yummy chinese noodles.
5. We primarily focus on completion of parikrama, however the focus should be on experiencing the unique energy in the surroundings and some time with self in the serenity.
6. Do take kailash Jal from the very source once you halt at Derapuk , during the first day of parikrama.
7. Following items are extremely essential
. Medicines for general ailments.
. Walking stick
. Face mask ( to safeguard against chill blizzards)
. A very good quality shoe, with rubberised sole to prevent skidding. I used Lowa renegade which has survived a lot of trekking and was found fit here as well.
. If you are carrying a DSLR then make sure you have the correct slinging equipment, as it becomes painful to carry it , if one is not taking the Porter.
. It's better to walk , if one can.
. The operators will discourage you sighting grounds like bad weather and cold, still move on. They do this to wind up the group and save the logistics at subsequent halts.
. The jackets which the operators provide is not good enough. Carry minimum three sets of thermal inner wears.
. Do not carry any thing symbolic of Tibetean seperatism. Any pictures of Dalai lama should be removed from the phone. Your phone can be deposited for detailed checking if they suspect.
. We have a tendency to wrap things in news papers. This should be avoided in China as the military check posts will hold you for checking. The communist regime can consider any printed material in possession which has any Chinese news( like Dhoklam standoff) as offensive.
. Keep a track of your sherpa Nepalese guide.
. Google play store and google does not work in China. So one cannot reinstall the app if deleted. I suggest take a complete backup and do not uninstall the app even if the guides advise.
. For communication all the hotels in China are wifi enabled. One can find decent wifi at Darchin, Taklakot to communicate back home. Pre instal app like we chat as a backup.
. Carry lots of soap strips. There won't be any soap in the hotels.
. Men should carry one additional belt. Carry thread and needle. It can be very useful in need.
. Make sure u eat well, even if one is not hungry. Remember the body needs energy to sustain the climate.
. Carry good quality flex lined gloves. Normal home stitched wont be of much help, specially when it snows.
. Good sunglasses is a must to protect from the unrelenting glare induced from the reflections from ice.
. Carry 35000 minimum as cash out of which one can exchange 15000 in the Chinese currency at Taklakot. The general rates for porters is 800 yuan and for pony it's 2500 yuan, equivalent to Rs 8000 and Rs 25000 in the indian currency.
. Choose your tour operator wisely. Check the website of Cox and kings, fishtail , sunny treks and the trekkers society.
This was indeed a journey of a life time. It changes your perspective of looking at life.