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Reisverslag EveRest easy, I'm still alive
11 oktober 2016
EveRest easy, I'm still alive
So the next morning, we left at 8 AM to Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet. It was an awesome ride, if your definition of awesome is a 7-hour drive, sometimes at insanely low speeds, stopping for 13 or 18,5 minutes because the way they measure speed here is somewhat different: you have to take at least 80 minutes to get to the next measurement point. So basically it doesn’t matter how fast you go, as long as you stop often enough. Also, the police are completely fine with you speeding. I know this because there was a police officer sitting next to the driver the entire time, to “keep tourists from getting hurt”, because apparently Tibetan Buddhists are the most dangerous criminals you can find.
Oh, but the scenery was absolutely beautiful and arid. I’ve never seen something so dry look so good.
When we arrived in Shigatse, at 3 PM, we had some Indian lunch. Loved it! Afterwards, we went to the Tashilunpo Monastary, founded by the first Dalai Lama, in 1447. Although much of it wasn’t original, there were still some original parts of the monastery. We saw some nice temples there and ended the day with some Tibetan Opera. It was interesting to see, but I really had no idea what it was about other than being on a river with a boat. The Tibetan monks all around me were captivated though.
I had some yak dumplings and went back to my room, but then couldn’t open the door. The key they had given me didn’t work, so after the hotel staff had broken into my room by opening the window, I got another room and went to sleep at 9, because the next morning we’d be leaving at 8 (and I had to get breakfast before) to actually go to Mount Everest! After waking up at 7.45, having slept through both my alarm clocks, we drove over passes and through valleys, up to 5200m and down to 4000. The final pass was the best – We could see the Himalayas! Although the one thing we REALLY wanted to see was covered by clouds, it was still incredible to see those snow covered peaks there. We drove on along switchback roads, finally arriving at the Base Camp around 6.
We started hiking to the viewpoint, but had to turn back earlier because it was getting dark, or at least that’s what the military police who sent us back told us. However, one of our group (of three, by that time) had ventured out far ahead of us on his own, and we tried to inform the police officer of that, but they didn’t seem to believe us. Finally, when the German girl – she actually has a name… Maybe I should tell you. When Lea showed them a picture that she’d taken earlier, where you could see the guy when you zoomed it, they suddenly started getting into action, turning the car around and picking him up.
When we got back, we had a wonderful dinner of noodles and noodles. Afterwards, we were to sleep with 8 people in a row on a huge “bed”, and got warnings that we should get two blankets and cuddle up because the temperature would drop to about -5 inside the tent. So when I’d moved to the side bed with only one blanket, it was finally cool enough to sleep. Still can’t imagine why people complained about the cold.
The next day, we went up to the viewpoint again and saw a lot of clouds. Have you ever noticed how much clouds suck? Especially when you are waiting to see something that’s behind the clouds, in the cold (because yes, out in the wind and without a blanket, it was cold), standing still for about 2 hours… Anyway, with the best view of Everest the night before, I was quite happy to be piling into the bus again for a long warm drive back. We drove for hours and hours, so that meant a lot of sleep for me. We stopped for a pretty great lunch around 4.30, and then drove on to Shigatse, finally to arrive around 8. I had some dinner and a beer, but as it turns out, one beer at 4500m makes you kinda drunk. After that, I had a lovely shower in the hotel room of the Danish couple (who had offered when I’d told them that the last time in Shigatse, I didn’t take a shower because I thought it would make me dirtier than I was).
Again with the sleep… Shigatse just makes me sleepy I guess. Can’t have been the alcohol. I went to bed around 9.30, waking up at 7.15 this time, so actually had time for breakfast before we left at 8. We spent the day driving from Shigatse to Gyantse, where we saw the fortress and the Pelkor Monastery, from there to the Karola Glacier, which apparently is half as big as it was ten years ago, but still amazing to see, onwards to the Yamtso Tso lake, which was more beautiful than any lake I’ve seen till now, and back to Lhasa.
After a call to my gramma, I went out to get some food, but of course at 9 pm, most restaurants were closed. I finally found one though. I pointed to the one dish with 牛肉 (beef) that I saw – it looked like green beans and beef strips – and the guy started talking in Mandarin for 5 minutes, pointing at the rest of the dishes. I figured he couldn’t make the dish, so I just pointed at the signs for beef. He went nuts! Started talking louder in Mandarin, gesturing more fervently at all the other dishes. I had no idea what he meant, so eventually he just went to another table and started making a phone call. I was just about to leave when he came up to me with the phone, handed it to me and gestured for me to talk. I said “Hello?” and the guy on the other end said “hi, I was asked to translate. What do you want to order?”. I answered that I wanted something with beef. Handed the phone back to the restaurant owner. Got the phone back after a minute “He knows that; he was asking what else you want”. I responded that I just wanted food, and I didn’t care what it was as long as it wasn’t pork. Handed the phone back. Got it back. “Ok, he’s made something with beef, is that ok or do you want beef noodles”. I said it was fine, and a minute later he was there, holding a plate of green chilies with beef strips. In Dutch there’s a saying: Hunger gives a relish even to raw beans. I guess it does the same to green chilies. After 3 more minutes, he came back with a bowl of beef noodle soup. I gestured “oh no, thanks”, and he started laughing. Didn’t charge me for them either.
The next day I didn’t do much other than visit the same restaurant for a bowl of beef noodles and spend some time typing this. Oh, and I went for sushi, ordered Tuna sushi, but apparently she misheard and I got bacon sushi instead… It was… interesting…
Tomorrow I’m flying to Kathmandu!
Foto's bij verslag (10)
13 oktober 2016 17:48 | Door: Vincent
Wow klinkt heeel bijzonder!! Enjoy