The Norden Blog

An intimate look into life on the Tibetan Plateau around the Norden Camp

Horse journey on the grassland

There is nothing like the thrill, often romantically exploited in films, of galloping through the grassland, preferably at the peak of summer, when the wild flowers lend it their color; yellow, blue or spots of pink, purple or red. Travelling on horse was the best and was, until recently, the only way. In some areas of the pasture, covered in green bumps, it still is, as only a horse can pick its way through a terrain that is even difficult even to walk on. With the advent of cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles, we have lost the sense of crossing a road less area guided only by the sun, starting at dawn and riding until afternoon, only dreaming of these journeys from the tales told by the older generation; three months trip from Amdo or Kham to Lhasa where they describe the changing scenery, rising up to tall passes that command breathtaking views to descend into narrow valleys, through towns villages and nomad camps where they could buy provisions and expect local hospitality. Those days are gone, but one can still get a taste riding from one place to another on horse, watch the sky change, the grassland go from yellow to green, hear the marmots screech at each other from one hill to the next with the eagles circling overhead.