Selfies with a particularly scary Yak that almost head-butted me out of Yumthang Valley
In my personal experience, I've found wild Yaks to be quite wary of humans. They look up as soon as you get a bit close, their eyes follow your movements, and if you get too close, their body language generally screams,
"Bugger off, hooman!"
Around the popular Tsomgo lake, yaks are domesticated and trained to be ridden by tourists, so they're friendlier cos, well, they've been forced to be.
But out here in the picturesque Yumthang Valley, they're free and get to exercise their opinion in the expanse of blooming purple flowers, abundant grass, misty clouds and snowy mountain tops.
No complaints Yak Man, with a home like that, I'd hate company too!
PS: Due to a particularly extended and harsh winter and snowfall, nearly 300 Yaks were reported dead in North Sikkim due to starvation and harsh weather conditions. They are one of the mainstays of the region's economy as a source of milk, milk products, transportation and wool.
In a charming tiny hamlet called Thangu where we stopped for a night on our way to Gurudongmar Lake, we found small shops weaving and selling carpets, blankets, stools and shawls made from Yak hide.
Due to an earthquake a few years ago, the hamlet has no Electricity and survives on solar energy which obviously doesn't take the full load of all needs.
The locals told us they've sent petitions to the Government, but to no avail.
No electricity, a daily hunt for firewood to keep them warm in the cold winds, and a severe depletion of Yak: Life is hard in the mountains.
But there is something about surviving nature's hardest challenges that makes mountain folk a special kind of warm, humble, easygoing and refreshingly honest. We had some of our best times in a small shop's kitchen in Thangu. I hope they recover from this setback soon ️
📸 #goprohero7black @goproin #goproselfie - 32 minutes ago