"It is better to have lived one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep"
Tiredness of reading up on an examen made me daydream of travelling in Tibet. I later found several traveloges on cycling through central Tibet, and became obsesed of doing the same despite my complete leak of knowledge on bicycle touring. I flew to Vietnam to entered China by train and flew to Lhasa from Chengdu. Bought a bike and joined up with a Spaniard and German I met. We biked together to Kathmandu in Nepal and even managed to walk up to 6460 meters on the Tibetian north side of Everest in our bicycle clothings. This trip really woke me up.
Here a timetable over the trip
.............. I joined up with Richard and his Japanese girlfriend for a late dinner in town and agreed on finding another restaurant than the overpriced one attached to the backpacker hotel. We find one in a crowded street and eat and chat for a hour when a suspicious looking Tibetan man suddenly turns up at our table and ask us where our guide is, using a Chinese staff as an translater. I don't have a clue of what is going on and just tell the guy we don't have any, which seems to satisfy him as he leaves the place again. Naíve as I am, I don't understand the problem as Richard keeps repeating for himself; "where is your guide", but nor can he solve the mystery. We go back to the hotel for sleep, laghting at the episode.
Richard is however not laghting the next morning when I meet him in the reception, crowded with people for some reason. He tell me that those guys are PSB (police) men conducing a razzia at the hotel, searching for illegal travelers and his landcruiser group is now in deep problems because of the missing guide matter. Mama mia - hell is loose and I will be the next victim if I don't disappear immediately. Don't know really what to do as I walk up to my room, realizing I cannot escape as my bike is lucked inside the hotel's storage room. I stay in the hotel room for some hours before toilet matters and hunger make me walk down into the reception where a police officer awaits me. Damn it - begin to walk back to my room, but the officer follows me and eventually hunts me down. He informs me that he knows I got a bike and this is the end of my bicyle trip - I now have to join a landcruiser as it is illegally to cycle on the friendship Highway to Nepal. I just start asking prices and possibilities as it is quite obvious I won´'t win an argument and have to avoid any confrontation and he soon begin to relax. He leaves and I begin to think how to get my bike out from the hotel storage and bicycle out of town during nighttime. Later, I suddenly see a guy sitting in bicycle clothing, enjoying the hot sun.....
The Portala - former winter residence for Dalai Lama - now money mashine through tourist entry payments.
In front of the summer palace (Norbulinka), former residence for Dalai Lama untill 1959 when he fled to India.
Tourist photo in Lhasa
60 km. paved highway south of Lhasa marks the beginning of the Friendship Highway which ends at the border to Nepal.
Just reached the top of my first road pass ever. Completly exhausted after dragging my badly geared bike from 3600 meters to 4800 meters altitude in 9 cruel hours, but the splinded view of Yakdrok lake is worth all the efforts.
The road after Nangartse toward the first 5000 meter pass.
On the way toward Gyantse. Small mudbrick houses with attached fields.
The monestary complex in Gyantse.
The monestary in Shigatse in strong sunshine.
Fernando asking young monk for street direction in the monestary.
Fernando and I waiting in a small village for Christoph to catch up with us. Wonderful dirty kids all around.
The Dane on the way to Mt. Everest.
More pic to come...