The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.
At 6 A. M. it was a perfect clear morning with a wonderful view of the great snow peak of Chomolhari (23,800 feet) only a few miles away to the north east, but it quickly clouded over and the snow peaks vanished from view. The collection of beggars, Yaks, mules, ponies and donkeys outside the bungalow was a wonderful sight. While the baggage was being loaded.
Just outside the Dzong and village we met a herd of yaks carrying wool, evidently coming down from the interior for export to India. A mile out the local celebrities were assembled to present again ceremonial scarves which were afterwards handed back by Gyaltsen.
After an hour and a half's ride we crossed the Tang La (in Tibetan "Higher Pass") 15,300 feet, and then rode steadily for 12 miles across the Tuna Plain a wide flat plain between low hills, and behind these hills rose the snow mountains. We then reached Tuna Bungalow escaping some rain which was falling east of our line of march. Nepean and Dagg set up our "loud speaker" apparatus to test it, and a wonderful variety of noises and singing were reproduced.
The flora has now nearly vanished although Chapman found some unusual blue poppies on the hill above Tuna, and of course there is not a sign of a bush or tree. There is however quite a lot of grass on these plains although they lie at 14,500 ft. and over.
The plain east of Tuna affords unlimited good aerodromes and no work is required on improvements.
Author: Philip Neame [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]
Page Reference: Pt II p.2