above sea level

500px (1 of 1)-10 22.03.28
Year 2007. When José Rodrigues dos Santos in his excellent novel “God’s Formula”* described the colours of a lake he visited in Tibet I was just thrilled by its unreal gamut description. Almost one year later, on my trip to Tibet with my daughter, I could not forget his description and wanted badly to see it, to see one of those magnificent lakes of Tibet always described with passion as if they would represent the Alfa and the Omega of our existence.

And I was absolutely not disappointed! It was just as he described and I lost my breath when the bus suddenly reached the top of a hill; “voilá madame et messieur, à vous de juger”. In fact it was an orgy of colours we had in front of our eyes whereas the colour of the water and the colour of the sky had an infinite embrace, collapsing in each other! This is Namtso Lake, 5000 metres above sea level and the second biggest salty water lake in the world. As I am not technically a photographer this photo does not reflect the real depth our eyes can see. But they do give you an idea of its profound impact in our soul when facing it.

Assigned for my third project in Beijing I was already there on duty for a few days but my daughter just arrived in Beijing from London one day before we flew to Lhasa – 3,700 metres above sea level – where, upon arrival, she was nocked down by the worst combination we can have when travelling; jet-lag and altitude at the same time. In Tibet they have an herbal tea for the altitude sickness which is manifested by fatigue, headache and a huge desire to sleep, but that herbal tea does not necessarily work for that combination. Upon check-in in our hotel, we went to our rooms. I immediately plugged-in the electrical kettle, boiled some water and made the herbal tea the reception gave us as a complimentary. Anna took it with some slurp noise to be able to swollen the paracetamol I had meanwhile prepared for her headache and that supposed to make some wake-up effect but it actually didn’t seem to have any effect at all. Her eyes were closing in an almond shape and she could not bear the effort to have them open. Anna laid down in bed as she was, fully dressed. She dumped her head in the pillow, cover her face and slept 12 hours without a break!….

(to be continued…)



* “…o lago parecia um espelho iluminado, era lápis-luzúli polido a vários tons, mar intenso lá ao fundo, azul cobalto flamante mais próximo, verde-opal junto à margem, as águas a beijarem na praia uma areia branca brilhante; dava a impressão de um atol miraculosamente pousado no meio de uma cordilheira dourada e púrpura, as montanhas exibindo picos lácteos cintilantes e projectando sombras de um opaco vermelho-acastanhado. Uma orgia de cores.” Ipsis verbis of pags 376-377