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travelling with laughter

I spy with my little eye something beginning with E.........

CHINA | Sunday, 14 October 2007 | Views [2539]

Well the answer is EVEREST!!!! If you hadn't already guessed!

Hi, everyone. Sorry its been so long and now this may well turn into abit of an epic......so i apologise now!

The last three days in Lhasa were spent trying to gather a group of us up to fill a minivan (6) after making posters and faffing alot we had a crew. Ant and i, Mark- who we met at the lake, two spanish guys and a frenchman.We were sorted!

Our first day we set off bright and early at 6am. We were heading for Yamdrok lake. After climbing up and up and up we reached the top of the mountain and were greeted by spectacular views of the lake and once the door to our van opened we were also greeted by a bitterly cold wind! I also wasnt very prepared wearing ripped jeans and of all things flip flops!!! The Frenchman had other ideas for the group.....he wanted to go down to the lake not just view it from our vantage point so with a lot of discussions with our guide he won the talk....in the van we got and went down a gravel road to the lake. We paddled and two of the guys got slightly startled by a yak resulting in one of the spanish landing on his bum, i have never seen anyone fall and spring up so fast! But this was to turn into more of an adventure than we thought as the bus wouldnt move,it tried.. coughing and spluttering but to no avail(it couldnt cope with all the bums on seats)......so we had no choice but to walk up the hill to the main road......At the top in we piled again, drove about an hour and then changed mini buses.......(i told you every bus had a story).On the way we stopped at the most amazing sand dunes slap bang in between the mountains, it was good to get out stretch our legs and run around like kids or in Ants case roll down....though at the top he did try to tell me what he was doing so i could catch him in action but as he shouted the wind carried off his voice....whoops, didnt get quite the pic he expected! Just him in a heap at the end... Eventually in the evening we made it to Gyantse and settled in for the night in a really nice hotel and hot shower....fab!

In the morning we explored the town and then hit the road....We visited a monastry in Shigatse and then to Shegar.On the way we reached a pass of 5248m and it was freezing!!!! But i still managed a fag ( it had to be done)! We arrived in the evening and stayed at the only hostel available, it was basic.....but we could get food and a hopefully a good nights sleep so what more could you ask for.....we also had added entertainment.....Jose (spain) did the most amazing magic tricks which left us all dumbfounded completly! That and the night sky with shooting stars! exhausting day!

The next day we set off wrapped up warm, after all we were going to see Mount Everest and even the name doesnt sound warm at all...At a pass of 5500m we got our first glimpse of the mountain and it really was amazing.........I never thought that when i left home that i would be here. It was a little cloudy but it just added to the magic of the view. We piled in again to our trusty minivan after everyone had chance to take their pics and the spanish filmed themselves jumping up and down....! Much to everyones amusement!
We arrived at Rongbuk monastry a mere 7.6km away from base camp. We were now in 'basic' land but with a view like that WHO CARES!!! Mount Everest really is magical and as Ant, Mark and i walked slowly closer i couldnt take my eyes off it. It was so windy but with a bright blue sky..we tried to save a little time by skipping the winding roads and climbing up the mountains instead, also managing to lose Ant in the process! Eventually we located him, we had managed to swap mountains? I was freezing so i left the boys to play peek-a-boo and headed into the warmth....only sneaking out to watch the sunset before dashing in again.
Later i did my superhero thing and grabbed our guide and minivan and went to rescue the boys as they seemed to be a long time and the last rays of sun were begginning to disappear....and thank goodness i did as they were v v cold.....and went to bed v v v early....so much for macho macho man, he he he! Woke up in the morning like an icicle (even though i did get into bed with ALL my clothes on...3 tshirts,long sleeved top,cardigan,jumper,hat,leggings,jeans!)......not surprisingly though as the temperature went down to -7 and there was even ice INSIDE the window!!!!

And then we were off again.....this time following and being followed by some 4x4's as our driver wasnt sure if our bus was going to make it!!!! Thankfully we were okay but the road was something else......bumpy doesnt even start to touch it.....brain jangling would be better! We arrived in Tingri slightly bashed about and then swiftly decided to speed up the process to the border( it was a right dump) to another dump called Nyalam. Here we had to try and cadge another lift as we were informed that there was no way that the minibus would make it to the border....at least they were honest......So in the morning at 6am Mark ,Ant and i were squished into a big mama of a truck, squished yes! I had to sit on the boys for the next five hours - and NO it wasnt fun.....probably worse for them though! We set off in the pitch black and i am not sure what was worse...not seeing or seeing once the sun came up?

For the next five hours i was moved from one leg to the next continously in the search for comfort, but it wasnt to be.....At one point i had to crouch down in the foot well with the boys stinky feet as they pulled up there hoods and tried not to look like foreigners in order to avoid getting spotted by the police as he drove past....i dont think we were supposed to be there espeically not without a guide! I really felt like a fugitive! As we arrived in the border town we retrieved out sand covered bags, changed our money (i managed to get ripped off...v v v annoying) and crossed the border with ease.

The boys decided we were going to walk from Tibet to Nepal through no mans land a mere 8 km.....got to save those pennies.....! We had only been walking for five minutes when Ant disappeared of the face of the earth.......and i was soon to follow! Two locals led us down a very steep rocky path all the way to the friendship bridge, it was a fun way to enter Nepal but i only managed to salvage my sense of humour once i was back on tarmac!!! I had heard Nepal was good for trekking but i never thought i would literaly trek into Nepal! What a start! and so the adventure begins........

Tags: adventures, tibet

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