I came upon this woman while visiting monasteries and markets in Ladakh, in the Indian Himalayas. Ladakh is pretty much a high-altitude desert and it’s one where you can get a sunburn and frostbite together, if you lose track of time and it’s cold enough, when resting partly in the sun and partly in the shade. Winter temperatures can go down to -40F and stay there. One way to keep your energy levels up during those frigid months, aside from staying close to the kitchen fireplace, is by drinking yak or dzo (half yak, half cow) butter tea. For me, that drink was an acquired taste. The woman in this picture, while past middle-age, looked vitally strong and happy as a lark.

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