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00-2010-06_tibet_0200.JPGblind students in Lhasa, Tibet
So we made it to Lhasa and went for the first TOPtoTOP presentation/talk in China. It was a blind school founded by the great NGO “Braille Without Borders”. Already in the first moment we recognized that we found one of the best examples on our whole trip around the world. So please read more and make a donation!
Here the story how we got from Kathmandu, Nepal to Lasa in China:
01_2010-06_tibet_0100.JPGthe high Tibetan plateau
It was not very easy to organize the visa and trip further from Nepal into Tibet and China. Thanks to Lhakpa Sherpa, who owns the travel agency “Sherpa & Swiss Adventures Ltd” we finally managed. We learned that we had to cancel the Chinese visa we organized before to get a visa for Tibet and that we have to extend it in China. Further they told us, that you can only cross from Kathmandu to Lhasa with a guide and escort car. So we decided that the kids and most of our equipment are in the car and the parents switch cycling.
When we liked to cross the border between Nepal and China they did not stop us because of the overloaded bike, – no, they stopped us because of Noe (?). He has had so many mosquito bites in his face that the officer thought he has a very dangerous sickness. But thanks to or guide Sonam we were able to explain that we forgot to close the window the night before and that the mosquitoes like baby blood best. Thanks to the high altitude of the Tibetan plateau there were no mosquitoes anymore and Noe recovered fast.
02_2010-06_tibet_0031.JPGDario crossing the border from Nepal to China
03_2010-06_tibet_0041.JPGMount Shisha Pangma, 8027 m in the back
It was one of the best cycling we have done since we started 2002 in Switzerland. 12 years ago when I climbed Shisha Pangma and was here, there was not really a proper road. Now since two years the new road is finished and it is just a dream cycling here: No traffic, no angry dogs, perfect pavement, cool temperatures and a fantastic landscape!
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The passes we crossed were Nyala, Lalung La, Karola and Kambata. Some over 5000 m high and decorated with prayer flags flying in the wind.
After some days we had again Everest in sight; this time from the North. After two days we saw him the last time. We left this giant behind and took the nice experiences with us.
Resize of 08_2010-06_tibet_0105.JPGSabine with Everest in the back
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The local people were just amazing. They always loved to play with our kids and our CANYON bike. We on the other side were very interested how they can survive in this high altitude and extreme climate. They are really champions of surviving and may are our teachers if climate change become even more dramatic. Our guide Sonam told us that in the last years the region became hotter and hotter and it is more difficult to cultivate the land. Means: people have less income and more difficulties to cover their basic needs. As we travel in lower altitudes Sabine was able to give our warm cloths away, although she already gave most of our warm kids- and baby cloths to Sherpa friends in Nepal.
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For TOPtoTOP it was a very inspiring trip to Lhasa. We found so many good examples for our climate. They boil the water only with solar power in less than 15 minutes in 5000 m altitude as an example! Most of the secrets to survive are in their sustainable attitude with nature, traditional environmentally friendly technologies and the YAK. A yak means not only milk or food. A yak is the most efficient transport system in this landscape. All parts of the yak are used for clothing, tools and many other useful things to survive…even yak dung they use for heating their houses.
Finally also our kids enjoyed the trip. It was again a new experience, in a new environment and they adapte much faster then we do. We were happy that they already spent so much time in high altitude in Nepal so it was never a problem for them. The best for Salina and Andri besides playing around with local children was riding some distance on the back of the bike and for Noe just give Mami another cuddle when she needed a rest.
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Resize of 15_2010-06_tibet_0205.JPGPotala Palace in Lhasa
Resize of 16_2010-06_tibet_0198.JPG TOPtoTOP sharing their experiences with blind students.
Our wish: Please don’t forget to donate to this great project of “Braille Without Borders” in Lhasa and help this blind children!