Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last night in Tibet

Tomorrow we say goodbye to Tibet..an amazing country struggling with its identity, a contrast between the new from China's influence since 1959 and old traditional Tibet that still exists in amongst it all. I suspect that with time the new will win out. All in all a great place to visit...I am so glad I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to do so.
I forgot to mention in my last update when at Tinguri we took the opportunity to go back and spend some time in the village before we rolled on..what an eye opener! Classic was the open butcher market where you can purchase your choice cut straight off the carcass. Meat was fresh as we witnessed just past the village where the goats were being slaughtered rather primitively..enough said.
We've now been in Nyalam near the Nepal border for 2 nights. Again a very poor community but at least there was a place downtown where I was able to enjoy my first shower in 4-5 days..boy that was nice. Most of the group did the same. Feel almost human again.
Apparently tomorrow we descend over 2.5 kms over 50 kms through some pretty spectacular scenery. We have a border crossing in the middle of all that and maybe some roadworks so it won't be a run straight through. The descent yesterday was amazing, 35 kms uninterrupted downhill, wide sweeping switchbacks and no brakes required! Beautiful hot mix surface...we all wished we had our road bikes...would have been incredible!
Scenery at this altitude and higher unspectacular, no vegetation to speak of..really barren rocky and dry. The Himalayas pretty much shadow any moisture crossing them so the Tibet we've seen has been in the main really desolate.
Still and all I'll be sad to say goodbye to it and the great bunch of guys who cannot cross the border with us who have supported us through this entire journey. Tonight we'll say our goodbyes over dinner as tomorrow they leave early to deliver our baggage to the border where we will only briefly see them as we cross.

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