We had to wake up early to catch
up our flight to Lhasa the capital of Tibet and former home to the Dalai Lama
(now in exile).
Most of our expedition gear
and food left by truck overland to Base Camp at the same time. We carried our
"approach march" day packs with snacks and clothes to last us 6 days till base
I had to carry my laptop, sat
antenna, solar panel, Thuraya phone, tripod, connection cables, clothes, snack
,and cigar supply ,so lets put it this way; I felt like a yak with a full
load, I couldn't trust leaving such fragile stuff to be hammered around in
cargo. Stewart a British trekker with us had his wallet snatched out of his
case with all his money in cash along with cards etc. however, he put on a
smile throughout the day and we all cheered him up and offered support.
We flew over the whole
Himalaya range with clear view of the Mighty EVEREST , Cho Oyu, Makalu ,
Lhotse and the rest.
Lhasa airport is developing
rapidly, trying to have a face lift before the Beijing Olympics in 2008 with
the construction of a railway all the way between Lhasa and Beijing.
Checked in to the CTMA (
Chinese Tibetan Mountaineering Association ) building. I'm exhausted after all
the yak load I had to carry here.
Lhasa 30 August 2005
Tashi delek ( hello in
It's my third visit to Tibet
and it has changed so much that I couldn't recognize many places that I've
seen before. China has spent so much money to develop the Tibetan capital. It
is the 40th anniversary of the Tibetan autonomous state. (when China "annexed"
Tibet). Celebrations are everywhere and "The POTALA Palace" the Dalai Lama's
winter palace is closed due to government officials' ceremony. We managed
to snap some pictures of the monastery which was build over 8 centuries ago.
So, instead, we went to
another monastery called "DREPUNG" which was build even way before the potala.
There were more beggars than I've seen in the previous trips. I guess it was
the amount of tourism and pilgrims alike on the rise, all asked for tips when
I started filming and they have tariff list as well.
We were joined by some South
African expedition members planning to climb a 7000 meter peak near Changste
in Rongbuk Valley ( Everest Region ) called Lhakpa Ri. Both times I visited
Tibet were in spring and it was so cold and dry.
Potala will be closed
tomorrow, so we are planning to hike in the green mountains ( for now ) before
we head to Shegatzi on Friday.
Lhasa, 31 August 2005
Lhasa 3695 Meters
Things have changed
dramatically. You can't see local people anymore. On my previous visit, I
encountered lots of locals with the traditional dress but now I have to go and
spot them like a rare species. Every time I want to snap a photo some one will
come and ask for money. Chinese presence is so obvious you might think you are
in Hong Kong without the high rise buildings. Banners are everywhere with the
commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Tibet autonomous region (my ass).
Fire works went on for so long I thought it was D-DAY. However, we tried just
to ignore it all and continue on with our acclimatization process. Maybe they
are right, because we look at Tibet in totally different way, as poverty and
hard way of life appeal to us (for a day or two), as we are passing by, then
off to our countries where we enjoy the luxury of life and go mad when the
remote control gets a flat battery. Of course, they want to experience similar
benefits as we do but Tibet has lost it charms in searching for it along the
Tomorrow, we head off to
Lhasa 1 September 2005
Salam, Packing equipments and
stuffing Gillette's barrels took all night long, 7 weeks trip require lots
of stuff, no one wants to run out of tooth paste or toilet rolls half way
through the expedition. One thing for sure that we'll not run short of razor
blades :) Anyway, all done at the end.
So, no sleep yet, I'll save
it all up for the climb we need to acclimatize. "As per my climbing
tradition"; my hair dyed blond. All batteries charged.
Checked in at Abu Dhabi
Airport with more than 150 kg (I took lots of honey, olive oil, and some
goodies from home)
Plane nearly empty, due to
some electrical problems with no A.C. or entertainment program (very weird
)they boarded 70 with a capacity of 275 passenger, We all sat in the back of
the aircraft and all staff trying hard to keep a smile on their faces.
After more than four hours,
we landed in Kathmandu in a pouring rain at the end of monsoon
season. Cheerio, Zeddy
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