Trip Start May 07, 2007
Trip End Aug 06, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Thursday, June 21, 2007

After I left the monestary I cycled as far as I could. I arrived at an overnight camping spot, the following day I set off again after a very wet night and on a mountain hairpin ascent a lorry driver actually stopped in front of me.Winding down his window he said in surprisingly good English 'Do you want a lift'. Of course I did! He then threw my bike onto the back of his truck which was carrying gravel, that I was to learn was not for badly need mountain road repairs 6 km higher, but for a new chinese house building project.

He was to drop me off construction to where he was to take me. He told me 'that the road ahead was bad, and closed, come with me, I can help you'. I found out he was a former monk, that was how he had learned to speak good english. He loved to drive and was hospitable company, even paying for my lunch at a Tibetan womans house cum roadside cafe. I ate and drank tea with one of the most beautiful Tibetan women I 'd seen for weeks. Shame she was married!

Five hours later, and after being delayed for a hour by a truck that had sidelined itself on a muddly track resulting in a queue down the muddly mountain road of 40 vehicles ( on road that was 'closed', 'in state of repair'and badly maintained) Hence the lack of availability of gaining a foreign travel permits to this part of china, for 'safety'. Afetr one lorry pulled the other out of the sidelined ditch, we all went on our merry way.We arrived in small village, three houses, surrounded by construction workers who lived in something I couldnt even call a temporary shack! He had dropped me off at 4600m metres where he then offloaded his gravel, and I cooked lunch on my MSR mountain petrol burning camping stove. We parted amicably, me upwards, him downards.

I had a 5000 metre mounatain to cross, with only another 400 metres of climbing left. A gruelling 5 hours followed. Spotting Golden Eagles, and climbing a 35 degree incline. Very near to what I thought was the top ( as you do when you ascend a mountain, yet the VERY top is always out of view) it started to hail and snow. I looked for somewhere to pitch my tent. No where suitable was visible on the steep inclines on my right above a valley far below. I continued hoping that I could find a layby. Budda must have been watching over me, as a car passed and I waved at it. It stopped, seeing as it had started to snow by this time.

The driver was a mechanic. I'd ganed another lift! This time to the top of the mounatin, and over the other side, I was only 150 metres from the summit but it was 6 km away as the road had leveled out. We stopped to look out the window at an impressive valley,snow capped peaks with glacier and views hit us from afar. Going down hill, the mechanic stopped, he was called out to repair a communist party army officers wheel that had broken. The army officers in smart green attire were high ranking. They wanted to talk to me, offering cigarettes and a lift down the mountain. I declined as the descent would be fun.

Off I went, down to the bottom and 2 hours later the same car passed me, stopping to pick me up to take me to the village of .... where I stopped for the night. Free internet use, free drinks from the gracious and curtious chinese locals. The Tibetans were out numbered in this small chinese styled village.
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