Hello from Shigatse!

The Potala Palace – what can I say! So far that was the emotional highlight for me: standing outside the little room where the 14th (current) Dalai Lama studied as a boy, brought a tear to my eye.

On Mon Sep 17 we left Lhasa at 9am for a long but rewarding drive to Gyantse.

Our transport consists of 4 Toyota Landcruisers, so rather comfortable with 5 to a car: driver and 4 passengers (14 in our group, our guide Tristan and our local Tibetan guide). We made 2 detours: the first to 4800m to gawk at one of 4 ‘holy lakes’ – amazing blue color; the second was off-road to look at and play on some sanddunes – good fun and good to be out of the cars for 30-40mins.

We arrived in Gyantse (4000m) around 6pm – just in time for dinner.

This morning (Tue Sep 18) we visited the Monastery in Gyantse: we had 2 hours to explore the place at our own pace, so some of us climbed the immense Stupa and relaxed on top of it for a while.

Around noon we set off for a 2 hour drive to Shigatse, where I am now. We had a late lunch here and are now free to explore the 2nd biggest city of Tibet.

This will also be the last time I have access to internet until either Kathmandu (depending on how early/late we arrive there) on Sat Sep 22, or Pokhara on Sun Sep 23rd.

After this I’m off to the local markets.

Schedule for the next few days:

  • Tomorrow Wed Sep 19 we drive to Sakya (4300m)
  • Thu Sep 20 we drive to Rombuk (5000m) and we have a chance to walk to Everest Base Camp at 5200m – but that will depend on how the height agrees with me or vice versa!
  • Fri Sep 21: to Zhang Mu (2300m) – border town.
  • Sat Sep 22: cross the border into Nepal and onto Kathmandu.
  • Sun Sep 23 I have a very early flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. I hope to post again from my guesthouse there before I start my hike!

Yes, I’m having a great time!!!!

Signing of from sunny Shigatse!


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