Day 9: The Tibetan Plateau

Today we arrived at Tingri after few hours of very pleasant drive through the Tibetan Plateau. The scenery here is beautiful with all these giant peaks around us, and the deserted tundra covered by thin snow. We climbed up from 3780m at Nyalam to around 5100m at the highest point on the Friendship Highway, the Kuti pass, to descend down to 4350m where we first spotted Everest and her little brothers around. So exciting! Then we “checked in the hostel” and I must say we’ve been very lucky to have the best available rooms. Another team left Nyalam about 20 mins before us in a small old bus, and we passed them with our luxurious Chinese bus half the way to our destination when their vehicle broke down. They had to wait for four hours before our transport could take them safe to the hostel. By that time lunch was finished and most of the new rooms were taken by us. They look somewhat unhappy and I hope they manage to get a reliable transport to Base Camp.

The hotel at Tingri is fine but there’s no current water most of the time, and it’s yellow like piss. The town is very authentic and I’m planning to take loads of pics tomorrow, hopefully from some of the locals who look very nice with their traditional way of making their hair and their golden teeth. The streets are again dirty and smelly, but so far all people I found in Tibet are extraordinarily nice, smiling all the time and it seems they like to see us around, probably because we help developing the local economy with our expeditions.

After leaving our stuff in the rooms we went for a nice walk around and visited what it looks like the ruins of an ancient monastery, probably devastated during the difficult years when china occupied the Tibetan lands. The views from there are incredible with Everest and Cho Oyu dominating the skyline. We took loads of photos and head back to the hotel for another Chinese lunch. After few days eating all the same, we are desperate for reaching our base camp where we’ll enjoy all these delicatessen Phil has prepared for us.

I felt vey tired after lunch and went to my room to take a nap. My breading and heart rate was not normal and I started to feel weak. Yesterday I run down that peak fast and I felt very well acclimatized, but today I was feeling totally the opposite. After dinner I feel much better, and I think is the food and lack of exercising what is affecting my health right now. I’m sharing room with Phil. He feels a bit sick and decided to skip dinner and sleep as much as he can. We have other team member with diarrhea, so now is time to take hygiene very serious so that we don’t spread the bug. It is interesting how in this part of the world we feel so exposed in our way to Base Camp, which we consider our place of safety and comfort where we’ll build up the strength required to climb the Highest mountain on Earth. Anywhere after Kathmandu and before Base Camp is just a source of illness…

For now I feel my body is deteriorating fast, so my plan for tomorrow is to go for a long walk, doing some core and upper body exercise, long stretching session, washing and shaving, grabbing extra food from the supermarket and stay positive at all time.

One day more in this town and we’ll leave to our desired destination, Chomolungma Base Camp!

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