Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On the way to the forbidden land...


Some quick news from Xining. Yeah I know, this is indeed not in Tibet (if you haven't bought an atlas yet, it's not too late...). After we spent one month cycling almost freely on the amazing Kashgar – Kathmandu road, the PSB eventually caught up with us shortly after Ali, a stone's throw away from Mount Kailash. Sent back to Kashgar with a police escort. 48 hours by jeep to backtrack what took us a month by bike!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One week with the PSB


             Coming soon ...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In trouble !

A Chinese cyclist we met in Sumxi told us about a checkpoint just outside Ali. So we camped a few kms before the city and crossed it around 4am. We found the streets bustling despite the early hour (or late, it depends) : staggering drunken passers-by ,  flickering multicolour shop windows, taxis... Yet surprisingly, we spot no sign of a police car. The checkpoint is actually 2 kms past the center, and guarded by a policeman problably busy watching tv. The rope, which is supposed to serve as a gate, is lying on the ground. Riding on it is a piece of cake. There is not a single dog to bark at us. We pedal in the night, and most of all in the cold, wrapped up in our down jackets, with our feet and hands freezing. We take a breather after one hour. It's a smooth 20km ride up to the pass that we reach shortly after dawn. The light is superb, and the view on the snow-capped summits overlooking the Gar Tsampo valley (the Indus's main tributary) magnificent. Following that river some 100kms would lead us into India, and a bit further away into Pakistan.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rutog, still free...


First encounter with the Tibetan police today in the town of Rutog. We wait for dusk to enter the town. A police car goes up and down the main (and only) street but doesn't seem to care the least about us. We find a small hotel above a phone and video store, more discreet than the big Central Hotel monitored by the PSB. No running water, buckets in the corridor by way of urinals, and public facilities inaccessible at night for we are locked upstairs when the shop is closed... We dine in a real restaurant - vegetables and eggs. It doesn't seem much but it does feel good.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pangong Tso

C'était pour moi un des buts du voyage, revoir le Pangong Tso, ce grand lac d'altitude qui s'étend sur une grosse centaine de kms entre le Tibet et le Ladakh et que j'avais trouvé si magnifique l'an dernier côté indien. Se dire que les deux chemins les plus courts pour rallier un bout du lac à l'autre sont d'un côté via la Jammu Cachemire, les plaines du Penjab, le Pakistan et l'Aksai Chin (soit 3500km), de l'autre côté le Népal, les plaines du Gange et l'Himachal Pradesh (pas loin de 3000km), tout ca parce que deux géants jouent les gamins qui ne veulent pas faire la paix, me semble ahurissant !

Monday, October 4, 2010

In Tibet at last !

Nous décollons de Tielong au petit matin. La lumière sur le Sirengou et le lac est sublime, mais tout est gele autour. Je me sens flagadate. Nez bouché, mal de gorge, mauvaise toux, bref, une belle combinaison d'un méchant rhume et d'une vilaine réaction à l'altitude.
L'arrivée au Satsum La (col à 5360m) me fait vite oublier tout ça. La vue dégagée sur une large vallée entourée de sommets enneigés est absolument magnifique.