Brief Visit to the Tabo Monastery

From Dhankar, we were picked up within a few hours by a monk traveling to Tabo in the "Monastery Jeep". Antonia and I loaded into the trunk and James and Yann got the back seat, it was a rare comfort in comparison to the other rides we'd lived through on this trip. The village of Tabo is home to a thousand-year old monastery, with vast collections of well-preserved frescoes. The monastery also houses a beautiful guesthouse were we slept, just a few steps away from the mud brick walls that surround the dozens of chortens and buildings that make up the monastery complex. Attached to the monastery guesthouse was a tasty restaurant where we ate every meal and socialized with a sweet teenage migrant worker from south India who had found people with whom to discuss his Christianity.

Our stay in Tabo was brief. We had a private tour of the thankas in the monastery buildings by a surly novice monk. We studied the walls by flashlight and contented ourselves with a booklet of postcards as a souvenir of the hundreds of images wonderfully-preserved in the monastery. The dusty alleys around the monastery are filled with souvenir stands and a few western-style restaurants and cafes. We were treated to real espressos by James and Antonia in honour of our seven year anniversary. This was a real treat, our first and only real coffee on the trip. We sat in a small village square sipping our coffees among the stray dogs and playing children as dusk crept up. As the sun set, so did much of the village activity.

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