Start of the Adventure

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  ,
Friday, October 21, 2005

At 8:30 we had to be ready to catch our Jeep for the start of our Tibet tour. After last nights excess I had the worst hangover of my life! Apparantly drinking so quickly at high altitude is a no-no? No one told us! It hurt to move my head so a bumpy car ride wasn't going to help matters!

Our driver, Tundum, turned up in a battered 15 year old Toyota Land Cruiser at 9am and we were swiftly on the move. Our first port of call was Yamdrok Lake. To get there it took about 3 hours along some very windy, narrow roads along the side of a mountain with a huge drop on the side. The driver obviously had more confidence in the car than I did as he was swinging it round corners at high speed whilst I clung on for dear life!

The lake was pretty cool but there were loads of Tibetans trying to get you to pay to take a picture of their yaks. I declined and just took pictures of the lake. The pass was just under 5000 metres and it was a little too cold for my liking so I was quickly back in the car and thankful to be moving again.

We stopped for lunch in a small town in the middle of nowhere which had some pretty horrendous toilets that you had to pay 5 jiou for the privilege of using. I don't agree with it in England and I agree with it even less when i'm travelling.

After lunch we sat around in the car for 2 hours whilst our driver helped fix one of the other cars. He seemed to think nothing of getting under the engine whilst smoking a cigarette! There were loads of kids around as it must have been near the end of school. Some were really sweet but others just think we are walking money boxes and shout "Hello! Money!" at us all the time. It gets really infuriating sometimes but I know they think we have a lot of money.

Back on the road again we drove for a few hours before arriving at an absolutely beautiful lake. It appeared from nowhere and the water was an unbelievable turquoise colour. I was thankful that we stopped so that I could take a few photos!

Our base for the night was a small town called Gyantse. It is one of the least Chinese influenced towns and it shows. Although maybe not for long if the Chinese have their way as I saw billboards advertising the future of Gyantse with big skyscrapers in the middle of their quaint town. It made me quite sad as it is obvious that hardly anyone in town will have the skills needed to work in the types of business these buildings will create. It will just lead to a mass influx of Han Chinese and the character of the town will be lost forever.
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