Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Leaving Pelbar, gateway to Everest Base Camp

Leaving Pelbar to Everest Base Camp, originally uploaded by Fernweh.

I made it to Lhasa yesterday. Travelling here in Tibet has been fantastic so far. I love it here! There has been some great riding on the bike, beautiful scenery, interesting monasteries and fascination encounters. Unfortunately I am on the move a lot to make to best out of my time here, so there hasn't been a lot of time for Internet. I managed to upload some of my pictures, so for a first impression check them out at:

Monday, October 01, 2007

I am in Tibet!

After almost a year of preparations, I finally crossed the Friendship bridge between Nepal and China and made it to Tibet! I am now in Nyalam only about 30 kilometers into Tibet but I just have to tell you all that I am super happy!
The last three days have been at times stressful but also filled with lots of hours waiting for paperwork to get processed and traffic jams to clear. The waiting had started in Kathmandu. On the day of our departure we didn't get going until four in the afternoon, since we had to wait for the Chinese visa to be issued. Also as it turns out monsoon was not quite finished! It rained the whole way and as we got closer to the border the road got a lot worse. Also it got dark. Riding in the rain and the dark on muddy roads and through rivers was a first one even for me. But we made it to Kodari, the border town on the Nepali side.
The next day we left Nepal, which was the easy part. We drove across the Friendship bridge, but the Chinese made us push the bikes across the last couple of meters. From the Friendship bridge it was a very steep and muddy drive up to the actual border at Dram. This is where the waiting started. As it turns out it took more than 24 hours to get our paperwork processed. Which makes this the longest border crossing for me ever. Not even the lenghty process in Turkmenistan took this long!
While waiting we were talking to a lot of tourists who were coming back to Nepal after having done Jeep tours in Tibet. They were all saying that the road between Dram and Nyalam was not doable on bikes, as it was very muddy and there were two very deep river crossings. So naturally we were a little worried. As it turns out it wasn't all that bad. The road was muddy and potholed but quite manageable. Apart maybe from the traffic. You haven't seen traffic jams until you have tired to drive out of Dram!
Tomorrow we will leave Nyalam for Tingri and then Everest Base Camp. I hope that I will be able to post some pictures once we get to Lhasa.