After a good night sleep and an invigorating breakfast (bananas, army biscuits and yogurt, a real treat), we set off around 9am in broad daylight. Of course, this is far too late. By the time we finish loading the bikes, there's a large gathering and the police can't ignore us any longer.
The little game lasts a good 10 minutes. The young soldier tries his best, aware of his limited English: "Where you want to go?". "I go Ali [lthe next big town]. I want see doctor" I eventually answer, coughling violently to show that I am quite ill. The chief policeman looks a bit puzzled and asks the soldier to translate again "In Ali, see the police for...", miming as well as he can a piece of paper. "Yes yes, in Ali police registration, good, ok good bye". And off we go. Phew, that was close. Let's get out of here before he changes his mind.
|Premiers tours de roue sur le goudron|
According to Chinese cyclists we met a few days ago, the whole road to Lhasa has just been paved by the local Department of Road and Public Works this year. What ? Real tarmac ? Woo-hoo ! Let's try to make the most of it as long as we possibly can...