Trek to: Hilsa & cross the Nepalese border into Tibet
Internal Transfer: Landcruiser to Purang (aka Taklakot)
Visa required: Yes if British plus an Aliens' Travel Permit
Currency:Chinese Renminbi (RMB)
Time Zone:+8hrs GMT
Day 10, 30/06/10 - Mt Kailash, Tibet
Up early this morning to drive cross-country to the Rungbuk monastery which is situated at the foot of the mighty North Face of Mt Everest. The drive at times was a little precarious as we made our way around tight hairpins and over landslide debris.
The weather this morning was very cloudy. The clouds predominantly seemed to be rising up from the Nepali border, a sure sign that the monsoon season had now begun. The further we drove up the valley the less likely it seemed that we would have any opportunity to see Mt Everest such was the cloud cover.
Suddenly though, on rounding a corner everything seemed to clear, the sky opened up and we were awarded an absolutely breath-taking view of the mighty North Face. Without a single thought Goose bumps rushed up my legs, a lump formed in my throat and my eyes seemed to be welling in utter amazement. I would never have thought I'd be at all bothered about seeing the North Face of this the World's largest mountain but my reaction to it was 100% emotional.
Quite simply I was awe-struck, such a spectacular mountain as it boldly stood casting an imposing shadow upon everything beneath. We were stood at 5,300m and I can't imagine for the life of me what it would be like to stand upon its summit, in fact the very thought sent shivers of fear and panic through my entire body. Right now as I gaze upon this mighty peak I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who have risked their life, limbs & mental wellbeing to scale the ultimate beast - wow!
From Rungbuk and its associated monastery we begun the long journey to Zangmu situated on the Tibet/Nepal border. The drive took about 8hrs and we were lucky enough to witness cranes as they stood in the gentle waters, wild kiang (ass) and Tibetan fox.
The hotel in Zangmu was dark & dingy with an inescapable aroma of stale urine. From the room above there was something leaking through the ceiling, my only hope is that its not the urine I can so pungently smell!?
During the night all hell broke loose, I lay literally paralysed by fear in my bed. In the next room it sounded as if a couple of elderly men were dragging a girl into the bedroom, the screams and cries were nerve shredding. I felt absolutely sick, unable to move; I didn't know what to do or what was happening - my imagination was in complete overdrive. Whatever was happening continued for what felt like an eternity.
I could now hear a second lady's voice and after a flux of movement everything went quiet, well less the sound of the girl's whimpers. What happened next completely threw me... the noise turned into the sound of painful contractions... Oh my God was she brought here to give birth?!
Tonight I lay awake, too scared to close my eyes; confused & completely unsure of what had occurred here. Praying for dawn to break I can't wait to get back into Nepal, there's definitely something about this place that leaves me cold.