The journey through Tibet
The preparation of the journey through Tibet and China was a lot of work. The main reason was that we wanted to cross the region with our cars. We needed a guide who is specialized for Tibet. Our agency organized before all the necessary permits which had to be confirmed on our trip. This was always connected with long waiting times. We had to wait for hours at the several checkpoints in the country (almost all the checkpoints were within Tibet). Sometimes they checked our permits; sometimes we’ve got a time frame for being at the next checkpoint (speeding checkpoint).
The streets were in a very good state. In the last years they built a lot of new roads and sometimes we were very happy when we saw the old dusty roads while driving on the new asphalt. All the six cars of our convoy had to be close together all the time. For that we bought some walky-talkies in Kashgar at the beginning of our journey (highly recommended!).
We did a lot of camping in Tibet. The tourism didn’t arrive yet in several areas of Tibet, so sometimes the bed in the car was the better alternative than the dirty “hotel” with sometime ridiculous prices. We were traveling at the end of the season above 4.000m with the consequences of very low temperatures especially during the night (lowest -7). The gas stove wasn’t working perfectly when it was ice cold and windy outside that’s why I build an inside cooking station in my car 🙂 Sometimes we really had some great dinner events with BBQ!
The highlights of the trip were the hiking around the holy mountain Kailash, the trip to the Mt. Everest Base camp and Lhasa. We had for the whole trip perfect weather. The month October is one of the best for traveling through Tibet. We could see the Everest and the whole Himalaya mountain range without any clouds. Even in east Tibet we could see the holy mountain Karwa Karpo without clouds which is really rare.
We traveled more than 4.000 Kilometer in 19 days. That’s a long distance because we also climbed really a lot of passes. Several of them were higher than 5.000m. Some days were complete driving days from the early morning until the night came. And so many times the unexpected checkpoint, repairing at some cars of parts of the road which were still under construction ruined our schedule. Some days more wouldn’t be that bad.
The group itself was super good! We cooked together or went out for dinner at the evening. I even would say that some real friendships were build during the trip. So we were lucky with the group even that a big group like this means also waiting a lot.
Finally I can say that the journey through Tibet was one of the most beautiful but also the most tiring one. That’s why I looking forward to have some resting days in Laos and Thailand and for the fact that I come my destination India now very close.