Picking up supplies today for the upcoming journey, I asked our resident elder Aniè – who will be leading the group – what I needed to pick up. His words were in very clear order: “Whisky, butter, tsampa, and pork fat”…he then jumped in to remind me that I needed to charge my cameras so that I could take many many shots of him.
So, our hard man (thankfully) still has some bits of vanity coursing through him…and why not.
We learned too that we’ll be passing through a remote Lisu village. Remote mountain people who were known (and disliked) for their hunting skills, the Lisu remain hidden atop mountains and tucked into deep valleys in these parts. The Lisu village we’ll pass through is one that speaks Tibetan due to their long proximity to their dominant neighbours. Our leader, the aged whisky connoisseur Aniè, once had a friend living there who he hopes to see once again…for the first time in decades. Cannot wait.
Temperatures are deep in the ‘minuses’, but the whole team is slightly giddy. Stars, heights, and faded memories stir the blood.
The sacred lakes we hope to find are named the ‘Black and White Lakes’ due to the fact that there are opposing – or balancing – spirits in the lakes. The two lakes are separated by no more than a metre and in the ancient days during times of drought, elders would ascend to the lakes and pray for an easing of the dry spells. It is said that the lakes would speak to the sky, which would in turn open up for rain to kiss the earth.
An early morning departure in the frost awaits.