Thursday, 15 September 2011

Thur 15th Sept

Yesterday we biked 150 km and climbed a pass of 4100m. It's the longest ride I've ever done, helped by being in a peleton part of the time. There was beautiful early morning light on Shigatse when we left. The countryside then became very dry and treeless, very reminiscent of Afghanistan with low villages and old forts up on ridges. We lunched on a dry river bed and then paused at a road sign saying we were 5000 km from Shanghai. What a potent reminder of China's size. 

We then had a steep, steep climb. At the top I looked out on the bare mountains and felt as though I was on the top of the world. We had a beautiful descent into a greener valley. We stayed the night in a very impoverished town, Lhatse which is famous for its karaoke bars.

The stars of our group are our 2 Nepali guides. Kumar is tiny and is a great encourager. He has a different adjective for each day today was the longest, tomorrow is the most difficult. His assistant OJ is Nepal's mountain biking champion age 23 and this is his first visit to Tibet so he is photographing himself and the group everywhere. He is also tiny and exceptionally fit, he would love to power up the passes but is the back marker so helps the slow ones. Must be like babysitting for him.

Thurs is tough with a 5220 pass to climb.

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