Latest Position
Just arrived
October 24th 2004
------------------------
Kathmandu, Nepal.

Distance walked = 0km

I can already begin to grasp Nain's emotions while he was in Katmandu; sitting around for months as he waited for a caravan that would allow him to join t...Warm up
October 25th 2004
------------------------
Kathmandu, Nepal.

As I waited for monday to go to the embassy to verify for myself all these rumors I was hearing regarding my crossing, I phoned up Sangit to enjoy some of the local traditions sin...On Nain's trail
October 28th 2004
------------------------
Ishandol, Jitpur district

Distance walked = 17km

I was wanting to buy a local sim card to use during my stay in Nepal, but apparently there exist only a few of them and they are quite hard to ge...The long road
October 29th 2004
------------------------
Rani Pawa, Nuwakot district

I should have known that there was a reason why we had been sent to sleep so early.  At 05:00 sounded the wake up call and at 06:00 came the cup of tea together with the...Down and into the valley
October 31th 2004
------------------------
Dandhephedi, Nuwakot district.

At 05:00 I heard a knock on a door...

...But it wasn't my door.  

This detail is only important in that it meant that I didn't have to answer it.  But it woke m...To Tirshuli
November 1st 2004
------------------------
Tirshuli, Nuwakot district

I was surprised to wake up on my own at 06:00, and not to be awakened by someone on his/her way to work at 05:00.  I suppose the fact that the whole valley is inside the ...Growing pains...
November 2nd 2004
------------------------
Betraoti, Raswa district

Today is the day I walked the least and I feel as if I had just finished a marathon.

Not even an hr after I left Tirshuli I felt a strange pain just over my apendix.  Fe...Kalikasthan
November 3rd 2004
------------------------
Kalikasthan, Rasuwa district.

Distance walked = 103km

As it is becoming an unprovoked habit, I once again awoke at 06:00.  The wild boars in the cage outside my room did not really keep me awake...The Ramcheers
November 4th 2004
------------------------
Ramche, Rasuwa district.

Distance walked = 117km

I think I might have gotten that hernia after all.  I Felt like a ball wanting to come out...  Right under my backpack belt.  Strange it is as I ...Surgery scars
November 5th 2004
------------------------
Dunche, Lang-tang National Park

Distance walked = 135km

Assuming the worst I proceeded accordingly and, for once, smartly. 

I knew I wouldn't take any form of transport until the walk is over...Doctor Doctor
November 06th 2004
------------------------
Dhunche, Lang-tang National Park

Due to the Maoist Rebels' bombing of the telecommunications tower some ten years ago, the whole park depends on two vhs telephones to get hold of anywhere else but ...The time of truth has come
November 7th 2004
------------------------
Dhunche, Lang-tang National Park

Kept awake like everyone else by the visiting jackals that come down from the jungle each and every night in search for chickens (sometimes we have tigers down here...Not all are good samaritans
November 8th 2004
------------------------
Syaphru Bensi, Raswa district

Another 12km

I realized something sad that has happened, although I still want to believe it was simply an honest mistake...

...

Dilbahadur took my water bott...Ready to cross over
November 9th 2004
------------------------
Timure, Raswa district - Nepal 

13km more... but a hell of a walk!

 I left the Potala guesthouse with a plain Tibetan bread, a boiled egg and half bowl of tsampa porridge in my stomach.  A choco...It's not over till its over.
November 10th 2004
------------------------
Syaphru Bensi, Raswa district 
                                            
Another tough 13.465km              
          
 At 09:00 I began my advance towards the border.  Everyone in Timure ins...Love Cats
27 Nov, 04 - 17:48
------------------------

Lhatse went by quite quickly and fortunately for me, just as I was beginning to get desperate thinking I would need to spend a second night there, I found myself an exact same truck taking two nuns ...D-parture Day
28 Nov, 04 - 17:48
------------------------

Knowing I wouldn't restart from Zhangmu I gave myself the ultimatum to take my first steps at the latest tomorrow morning.  

For reasons which I now wont bore you with, I decided that I would r...Feeling the weight.
29 Nov, 04
------------------------

From day one it will all be uphill until I have crossed that dreadful pass.  After that it'll be up and down at an average of 4200m until I reach the next pass.

It is only day two in this secti...My very own caravan.
30 Nov, 04
------------------------

Home's floors are just the soil they stand on.  No cement, no tiles, of course no parquet.  Spitting is as natural as burping is (at least when locals do it).  I slept in a one bed house and I g...STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
01 Dec, 04
------------------------

"Can't leave until the sun warms up the cart's wheels"  explained Tashi; "So go back to sleep."

Once the sun did warm them up, he realized he had a flat tire.  His wife...LADDER TO HELL
02 Dec, 04 - 15:51
------------------------
I cannot expect to land always in a place where people will be more than happy to have me as a guest.  Especially along such a touristy traveled road.

Last night was one of these rare few nights wh...Every move you make (I'll be watching you)
03 Dec, 04
------------------------
As I expected, upon opening my eyes my nasty looking-host was ready to attack from all corners:  Ugly Joe
04 Dec, 04
------------------------
Before entering Tajche, Tashi suggested we pushed onwards to Tsamda.  I said for today we'd walked enough and wanted to stay right where we were.  He had cheated me last night regarding the distance t...Who da boss?
05 Dec, 04
------------------------


"He who what receives doesn't thank, often doesn't deserve."

Way faster than i'd expected, only five days and I am now at only 10km from Old Tingri.

It is 15:30 and as I a...Worse than a Morton
06 Dec, 04
------------------------

Ready to be on my own again and with our agreed destination in site I told Tashi he could head back home since last Night heading home was all he wanted.  That, and of course more money.

I paid him ...Poligamia
13 Dec, 04 - 21:43
------------------------

Headed towards New Tingri (or Shegar as it is originally called) 

Poligamia is quite common in Tibet, and Sunjun and two of his three brothers enjoyed this marital status  by having all the same ...Hilleberg AKTO does it!
Dec 15
------------------------

Tired and with my feet a bit sore from a long walk to Pelva I was keen to take it easy and, as suggested by Sunjun earlier on, take two days to Gyatso.

A couple hours outside Pelva a horse cart driv...Staying slim
Dec 16
------------------------

On the worst piece of trek I have ever walked:  totally dehydrated and no passing vehicle would stop to spare some water; hungry and no village nor Doban (road repair station) would even sell me some...Swing of things
Dec 17, 04
------------------------
Gyatso La

I am so upset! (and starving)

I can't understand why locals along this 'Friendship' Highway are so unfriendly.  They behave as if one is the enemy or something.  Perhaps they have had ...Lhatse Vegas
Dec 19, 04
------------------------

I feel like a truck!

I feel like one of those loaded lorries that when they go uphill you could overtake them on foot,  but when it is downhill... They are like a bullet!

That's exactly how I ...Untied Knots
Dec 20th, 04
------------------------

I know nothing about wind speed and knots; but today I am sure the wind on my face was way over 50 knots!

Have I just said something absolutely ridiculous?  Probably.

So windy it was that I had to ...A matter of perceptions
Dec 21
------------------------

The temperature changes with each cloud that passes in front of the sun.  

I know it sounds like an obvious thing to say, but here you go from dripping sweat one second to desperately needing to wea...Cold energizing tasteless meals...
Dec 23, 04
------------------------

I so need food, and chocolates, and massage, and I guess a shower wouldn't be bad either.

I wish there was a sauna in town...

The worst challenge of this expedition is the diet.  Already lost ...Santa Claus ain't coming to town.
Dec 24th
------------------------

As Ken (the cyclist) put it, villagers seem to think that every foreigner that crosses through, is a Santa with the sole mission of handing out 'items'   (including any personal belongings ...Pushing Boundaries.
Dec 25th
------------------------

So so so much pain... Pushed it a bit too far just to make it to Shigatse a day earlier...  And almost didn't make it at all.  

Just 2km outside town my foot simply gave up.  Then the back of m...Turning 35.
Dec 28
------------------------
When Nain Singh began his amazing journey he was thirty five years of age.

Today I too turned thirty five... Though not years of age.

After 35 dusty, cold and sweaty days without being able to t...Nice one.
December 30th
------------------------
A window to the future
31 Dec 04 - 15:02
------------------------

Already with my mind made up and looking for a bridge to sleep under, a head through a window shouted the well known 'Hello.'

'Hello' I politely replied, and gestured the sign fo...Road games
Jan 02, 05
------------------------

If the roads were made of porridge (or even tsampa) instead of simple dust I would be extremely fit by now.  So much dust I breath and eat as I walk thanks to the 'friendly' drivers!

Half ...Bottom Two
Jan 04, 05
------------------------

Not happy about feeling the need to write this dispatch since I always believed that if I'm not going to say something good about someone then is better not to say anything.  But this time I nee...An unusual party
Jan 05, 05
------------------------

The first night after the occasional comfort of a town is often a lottery.  It can be an absolute disapointment or it can be an amazing experience.  Fortunately this first night out of Gyantse was th...The Boogie Man
January 06, 05
------------------------
Pretty much since I took my first steps in this second stage, I am one with the people.  At least with the children anyway.

You see, every single one of them goes about his/her life with a boogie (...Burning
January 08, 05
------------------------

A very early start after a very strange night spent inside a tiny rock-made shepherd's hut.  

I had slept tucked inside a 'dent' with my legs curled up due to the lack of space.  Abov...Midnight Oil
January 09, 05
------------------------
If the night before last I slept very little, last night I slept practically nothing at all.  Thanks to a full on nomad family sharing a 6 bed-room that prepared dinner at midnight and recounted the l...Insomnia
January 11, 2005
------------------------
I cannot get more than 2-3hrs sleep!   

 Between my cold, my stuffed nose and the sudden lack of air I spent the past nights tossing around inside my sleeping bag.  

 I was already sleeping too ...The Race for Lhasa
January 12th, 2005
------------------------
 And the countdown to Lhasa is on!

 T-4

 Should it all go as it should, and provided that all given distances are accurate, in only 4 nights I will be eating a nice tuna fish sandwich accompanie...A view to a meal
January 13th, 2005
------------------------

 T-3

 Save a prayer for the morning after
January 14th
------------------------
T-2

 Back into my painful heavy duty shoes this morning as I ready myself to tackle the long 35km haul towards my last stop before the big rest.  I figured that the pain on my Achilles was due to w...I'm a believer.
January 22nd, 2005
------------------------

 I managed to find a couple of things in my bag that I hadn't used at all so far and seriously doubt I will do on the remaining leg.  Not a whole lot of kilos but my pack does feel a bit lighter.

...It is all about timing
January 23rd,  2005
------------------------
 
 10 km short of my scheduled destination, but never a better-timed stop.

 15 minutes after I decided to call it a day (a long day!), at only one village and a 4 km climb up away from Ganden Mona...Inner Pee-ce
January 24th,   2005
------------------------
The storm cleared the sky, and for the first time since my arrival in Lhasa (about a week) I see blue above me.

I had planned an early start with the idea of making it to Ganden Monastery before no...The Guinnea Pig
January 25th,  2005
------------------------
 
 I feel like I am being 'sent' all these challenges to test me.  To see how badly I want this.    

The list of 'stones' in my way has been quite large;  no need to ennumerate them all as we all ...The Right Choice
January 26th,  2005
------------------------

I spent all night tossing inside my sleeping bag feeling cold and suddenly very hot.  But mostly hoping to hear one of my hosts awake so I could head to the toilet while he/she curved The Beast.

...Everything is possible
February 17th  2005
------------------------
First day out.  Both little toes look like water balloons and my left foot's sole already has an opened blister.

My right knee hurts on the inside and my left one still hurts if I put weight on it....The return of the Jedi... or just a rusty robot?
February 18th   2005
------------------------
(T -58 +-5)

Absolutely destroyed!  Only two days into this second leg and both mines (legs) are a complete mess!

Boiled eggs
February 19th  2005
------------------------
(T -57 +-5)

WIthout Skywalker nor R2D2 to oil this old machine,  my rusty legs walked me across the Chaksam bridge over the Tsang Po;  and as the sun woke up,  its warming rays slowly melted the ox...The Seventh Hour
February 20th   2005
------------------------
(T-56 +-5)

Ready to reach the pass and stand above the Scorpion Lake (Yarlung means scorpiion) with one of the best views this area has to offer,  I set off at 09:00 sharp knowing that if a local s...The scorpion Lake
February 21st  2005
------------------------
(T-55 +-5)


Boys don't cry
February 22nd  2005
------------------------
(T-54 +-5)

The missing chief
February 28th  2005
------------------------

Out on a white mooring after a mild midnight snowfall.  A truly beautiful site with the glacier so white and impressive,  and with the usual harsh winds that envelope the pass were still absent I sl...Less is more
April 3
------------------------

 Universal
April 4
------------------------

Beautiful area; walking alongside the mighty Tsangpo feels way lot more rewarding than eating dust from passing vehicles.

Since leaving town I have come across no people at all.  This feeling of ...Golden liquid
April 7
------------------------

Last night, just as I had decided to stop, the pain reappeared.  Luckily I was already looking for a place to set up camp so I didn't walk enough to worsen it.

 Today, slow paced once more, I lis...The other side
April 8
------------------------

Eight kilometers was the mark to beat today.  Eight kilometers more and I would have completed the 96 to Shigatse that had been weighing on my conscience since I came to get that scan.  

 Normall...Determination
April 16
------------------------

Excitement, anxiety, a rush of adrenaline flows through my veins as I head out of my hotel.  It is 06:45 and although I am running an hour later than planned, I am absolutely ready to get into the l...
 Altitude Tracker


Pitstop
October 23rd 2004  : 
------------------------
Shek-O, Hong Kong

After having had to delay my departure due to a series of misshaps; though mainly due to two consecutive mess-ups from UPS!, I was finally able to leave Beijing.

Having enjoyed...Just arrived
October 24th 2004  : 1230.0
------------------------
Kathmandu, Nepal.

Distance walked = 0km

I can already begin to grasp Nain's emotions while he was in Katmandu; sitting around for months as he waited for a caravan that would allow him to join t...Warm up
October 25th 2004  : 1230.0
------------------------
Kathmandu, Nepal.

As I waited for monday to go to the embassy to verify for myself all these rumors I was hearing regarding my crossing, I phoned up Sangit to enjoy some of the local traditions sin...On Nain's trail
October 28th 2004  : 1383.0
------------------------
Ishandol, Jitpur district

Distance walked = 17km

I was wanting to buy a local sim card to use during my stay in Nepal, but apparently there exist only a few of them and they are quite hard to ge...The long road
October 29th 2004  : 1808.0
------------------------
Rani Pawa, Nuwakot district

I should have known that there was a reason why we had been sent to sleep so early.  At 05:00 sounded the wake up call and at 06:00 came the cup of tea together with the...Down and into the valley
October 31th 2004  : 0547.0
------------------------
Dandhephedi, Nuwakot district.

At 05:00 I heard a knock on a door...

...But it wasn't my door.  

This detail is only important in that it meant that I didn't have to answer it.  But it woke m...To Tirshuli
November 1st 2004  : 0533.0
------------------------
Tirshuli, Nuwakot district

I was surprised to wake up on my own at 06:00, and not to be awakened by someone on his/her way to work at 05:00.  I suppose the fact that the whole valley is inside the ...Growing pains...
November 2nd 2004  : 0613.0
------------------------
Betraoti, Raswa district

Today is the day I walked the least and I feel as if I had just finished a marathon.

Not even an hr after I left Tirshuli I felt a strange pain just over my apendix.  Fe...Kalikasthan
November 3rd 2004  : 1563.0
------------------------
Kalikasthan, Rasuwa district.

Distance walked = 103km

As it is becoming an unprovoked habit, I once again awoke at 06:00.  The wild boars in the cage outside my room did not really keep me awake...The Ramcheers
November 4th 2004  : 2061.0
------------------------
Ramche, Rasuwa district.

Distance walked = 117km

I think I might have gotten that hernia after all.  I Felt like a ball wanting to come out...  Right under my backpack belt.  Strange it is as I ...Surgery scars
November 5th 2004  : 1969.0
------------------------
Dunche, Lang-tang National Park

Distance walked = 135km

Assuming the worst I proceeded accordingly and, for once, smartly. 

I knew I wouldn't take any form of transport until the walk is over...Doctor Doctor
November 06th 2004  : 1969.0
------------------------
Dhunche, Lang-tang National Park

Due to the Maoist Rebels' bombing of the telecommunications tower some ten years ago, the whole park depends on two vhs telephones to get hold of anywhere else but ...The time of truth has come
November 7th 2004  : 1969.0
------------------------
Dhunche, Lang-tang National Park

Kept awake like everyone else by the visiting jackals that come down from the jungle each and every night in search for chickens (sometimes we have tigers down here...Not all are good samaritans
November 8th 2004  : 1463.0
------------------------
Syaphru Bensi, Raswa district

Another 12km

I realized something sad that has happened, although I still want to believe it was simply an honest mistake...

...

Dilbahadur took my water bott...Ready to cross over
November 9th 2004  : 1744.0
------------------------
Timure, Raswa district - Nepal 

13km more... but a hell of a walk!

 I left the Potala guesthouse with a plain Tibetan bread, a boiled egg and half bowl of tsampa porridge in my stomach.  A choco...It's not over till its over.
November 10th 2004  : 1463.0
------------------------
Syaphru Bensi, Raswa district 
                                            
Another tough 13.465km              
          
 At 09:00 I began my advance towards the border.  Everyone in Timure ins...Nain's Copycat
November 11th 2004  : 1463.0
------------------------
Katmandu, Nepal    
  
 With my feet still in pain I got on the 11hr bus ride to Katmandu.  I thought of walking back, but I preferred to get to the other side as quickly as possible to continue wit...Carry on as much as you can
November 13th 2004  : 1463.0
------------------------
 
So I walked through Maoist infested areas and left undisturbed by the infamous thieves who pose as rebels along the exact route i walked through!  But back in 'civilization' the Royal Nepal Airline...Still unable to leave
November 15th 2004  : 1463.0
------------------------
 
 Yesterday Sunday the office to buy my permit and ticket was closed, so I was forced to wait till today to try and get everything ready to fly out tomorrow.    

 The problem today was that there...Not a kidney stone after all
November 16th 2004  : 1463.0
------------------------
    
 Auspicious minds
November 17th  : 1463.0
------------------------
           
 Coincidentally I flew together with Guy Rubin; a good friend and the managing partner of Imperial Tours, a luxury tour company in China. 
     
 My first hours in the city weren't the ...To leave or not to leave
November 18th  : 1463.0
------------------------

 It has been a week since I was last trekking and my left foot still hurts.  I think I might have gotten a stress fracture the day I was sent back at the checkpoint.  It hurts just on the top of my ...The deadline is set!
Friday November 19th  : 1463.0
------------------------
 
My heart and legs tell me to leave tomorrow since I don't want this 'break' to be too long; but my head tells me to wait a few more days till my clothes have arrived and use this time to try and fi...only for sebastian
  : 1463.0
------------------------
My apologies to everyone for the delay in the dispatches; the truth is that it isn't easy to pull out all this gear in front of extremely curious villagers.

But I promise i'll catch up in a...Three to Tango
23 Nov, 04 - 17:35  : 1463.0
------------------------

I finally departed on my way to Kyrong, and an auspicious snowstorm fell over us as we drove to Zhigatse.

Traveling on the same bus were two other foreigners; and strangely enough they were both ...Ping Pong, the national sport.
24 Nov, 04 - 17:35  : 1463.0
------------------------

Once again I am being ping-ponged in this permit game that the travel agencies and the different governmental departments play with travelers.

As you may remember me saying earlier on, I was firs...Nain's new route
25 Nov, 04 - 17:48  : 1463.0
------------------------

"Success depends on being able to overcome unexpected obstacles while at the same time minimizing the risks."  Diego Azubel


For once I had come to my senses as to what's best, and ag...No easy way out
26 Nov, 04 - 17:48  : 1463.0
------------------------

"Go to that bus" said the station officer; he goes to Zhangmu.

As helpful as he might sound, this was our 5th time trying to buy a ticket as no one would take us for fear of being fined.  ...Love Cats
27 Nov, 04 - 17:48  : 2167.0
------------------------

Lhatse went by quite quickly and fortunately for me, just as I was beginning to get desperate thinking I would need to spend a second night there, I found myself an exact same truck taking two nuns ...D-parture Day
28 Nov, 04 - 17:48  : 3733.0
------------------------

Knowing I wouldn't restart from Zhangmu I gave myself the ultimatum to take my first steps at the latest tomorrow morning.  

For reasons which I now wont bore you with, I decided that I would r...Feeling the weight.
29 Nov, 04  : 4273.0
------------------------

From day one it will all be uphill until I have crossed that dreadful pass.  After that it'll be up and down at an average of 4200m until I reach the next pass.

It is only day two in this secti...My very own caravan.
30 Nov, 04  : 4546.0
------------------------

Home's floors are just the soil they stand on.  No cement, no tiles, of course no parquet.  Spitting is as natural as burping is (at least when locals do it).  I slept in a one bed house and I g...STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
01 Dec, 04  : 5136.0
------------------------

"Can't leave until the sun warms up the cart's wheels"  explained Tashi; "So go back to sleep."

Once the sun did warm them up, he realized he had a flat tire.  His wife...LADDER TO HELL
02 Dec, 04 - 15:51  : 4563.0
------------------------
I cannot expect to land always in a place where people will be more than happy to have me as a guest.  Especially along such a touristy traveled road.

Last night was one of these rare few nights wh...Every move you make (I'll be watching you)
03 Dec, 04  : 4307.0
------------------------
As I expected, upon opening my eyes my nasty looking-host was ready to attack from all corners:  Ugly Joe
04 Dec, 04  : 4237.0
------------------------
Before entering Tajche, Tashi suggested we pushed onwards to Tsamda.  I said for today we'd walked enough and wanted to stay right where we were.  He had cheated me last night regarding the distance t...Who da boss?
05 Dec, 04  : 4237.0
------------------------


"He who what receives doesn't thank, often doesn't deserve."

Way faster than i'd expected, only five days and I am now at only 10km from Old Tingri.

It is 15:30 and as I a...Worse than a Morton
06 Dec, 04  : 4338.0
------------------------

Ready to be on my own again and with our agreed destination in site I told Tashi he could head back home since last Night heading home was all he wanted.  That, and of course more money.

I paid him ...O.T.'s menaces
9 Dec, 04 - 12:55  : 4338.0
------------------------

As I said, I have decided to make this one my first pitstop and for once follow my doctor's advice.

Dr Paul told me to rest my infected foot for at least 24hrs but preferably 48, and to keep it...Poligamia
13 Dec, 04 - 21:43  : 4319.0
------------------------

Headed towards New Tingri (or Shegar as it is originally called) 

Poligamia is quite common in Tibet, and Sunjun and two of his three brothers enjoyed this marital status  by having all the same ...Hilleberg AKTO does it!
Dec 15  : 4630.0
------------------------

Tired and with my feet a bit sore from a long walk to Pelva I was keen to take it easy and, as suggested by Sunjun earlier on, take two days to Gyatso.

A couple hours outside Pelva a horse cart driv...Staying slim
Dec 16  : 5090.0
------------------------

On the worst piece of trek I have ever walked:  totally dehydrated and no passing vehicle would stop to spare some water; hungry and no village nor Doban (road repair station) would even sell me some...Swing of things
Dec 17, 04  : 5256.0
------------------------
Gyatso La

I am so upset! (and starving)

I can't understand why locals along this 'Friendship' Highway are so unfriendly.  They behave as if one is the enemy or something.  Perhaps they have had ...Lhatse Vegas
Dec 19, 04  : 4022.0
------------------------

I feel like a truck!

I feel like one of those loaded lorries that when they go uphill you could overtake them on foot,  but when it is downhill... They are like a bullet!

That's exactly how I ...Untied Knots
Dec 20th, 04  : 4046.0
------------------------

I know nothing about wind speed and knots; but today I am sure the wind on my face was way over 50 knots!

Have I just said something absolutely ridiculous?  Probably.

So windy it was that I had to ...A matter of perceptions
Dec 21  : 4535.0
------------------------

The temperature changes with each cloud that passes in front of the sun.  

I know it sounds like an obvious thing to say, but here you go from dripping sweat one second to desperately needing to wea...Cold energizing tasteless meals...
Dec 23, 04  : 3916.0
------------------------

I so need food, and chocolates, and massage, and I guess a shower wouldn't be bad either.

I wish there was a sauna in town...

The worst challenge of this expedition is the diet.  Already lost ...Santa Claus ain't coming to town.
Dec 24th  : 3962.0
------------------------

As Ken (the cyclist) put it, villagers seem to think that every foreigner that crosses through, is a Santa with the sole mission of handing out 'items'   (including any personal belongings ...Pushing Boundaries.
Dec 25th  : 3849.0
------------------------

So so so much pain... Pushed it a bit too far just to make it to Shigatse a day earlier...  And almost didn't make it at all.  

Just 2km outside town my foot simply gave up.  Then the back of m...Turning 35.
Dec 28  : 3852.0
------------------------
When Nain Singh began his amazing journey he was thirty five years of age.

Today I too turned thirty five... Though not years of age.

After 35 dusty, cold and sweaty days without being able to t...Getting high.
Dec 29th  : 3852.0
------------------------
As I had warned yesterday, I delayed my departure for one day so I could treat myself to a full day's sauna.

And so I did.

Only that I didn't stay as long as I wanted to and it wasn?t because my...Nice one.
December 30th  : 3795.0
------------------------
A window to the future
31 Dec 04 - 15:02  : 3807.0
------------------------

Already with my mind made up and looking for a bridge to sleep under, a head through a window shouted the well known 'Hello.'

'Hello' I politely replied, and gestured the sign fo...Road games
Jan 02, 05  : 3884.0
------------------------

If the roads were made of porridge (or even tsampa) instead of simple dust I would be extremely fit by now.  So much dust I breath and eat as I walk thanks to the 'friendly' drivers!

Half ...Bottom Two
Jan 04, 05  : 3938.0
------------------------

Not happy about feeling the need to write this dispatch since I always believed that if I'm not going to say something good about someone then is better not to say anything.  But this time I nee...An unusual party
Jan 05, 05  : 4154.0
------------------------

The first night after the occasional comfort of a town is often a lottery.  It can be an absolute disapointment or it can be an amazing experience.  Fortunately this first night out of Gyantse was th...The Boogie Man
January 06, 05  : 4336.0
------------------------
Pretty much since I took my first steps in this second stage, I am one with the people.  At least with the children anyway.

You see, every single one of them goes about his/her life with a boogie (...Burning
January 08, 05  : 4962.0
------------------------

A very early start after a very strange night spent inside a tiny rock-made shepherd's hut.  

I had slept tucked inside a 'dent' with my legs curled up due to the lack of space.  Abov...Midnight Oil
January 09, 05  : 4470.0
------------------------
If the night before last I slept very little, last night I slept practically nothing at all.  Thanks to a full on nomad family sharing a 6 bed-room that prepared dinner at midnight and recounted the l...Insomnia
January 11, 2005  : 4798.0
------------------------
I cannot get more than 2-3hrs sleep!   

 Between my cold, my stuffed nose and the sudden lack of air I spent the past nights tossing around inside my sleeping bag.  

 I was already sleeping too ...The Race for Lhasa
January 12th, 2005  : 3585.0
------------------------
 And the countdown to Lhasa is on!

 T-4

 Should it all go as it should, and provided that all given distances are accurate, in only 4 nights I will be eating a nice tuna fish sandwich accompanie...A view to a meal
January 13th, 2005  : 3562.0
------------------------

 T-3

 Save a prayer for the morning after
January 14th  : 3623.0
------------------------
T-2

 Back into my painful heavy duty shoes this morning as I ready myself to tackle the long 35km haul towards my last stop before the big rest.  I figured that the pain on my Achilles was due to w...First Leg Completed!
January 15th, 2005  : 3623.0
------------------------

T-1 

As I walked out onto my long road (late as always) I knew I had a tough day ahead of me. 

Tenzin and Shimpa walked me out and welcomed me to return anytime I wanted. Another group of amaz...Fattening the turkey
January 16th 2005  : 3623.0
------------------------
This morning I went straight into the shower room and with my battered and swollen feet I stepped on the scale.

72.5kg...

...When I started I weighed over 83kg!!

I knew I was way under my nor...Ch-Ch-Ch-Changing
January 18th 2005  : 3623.0
------------------------

A lot has changed indeed.  This is already a different place from when I was here only a year ago;  never mind 139!

The streets are probably a lot cleaner now than then (though they werenít Ďstre...Catch 22
January 20th,  2005  : 3623.0
------------------------
 
 It is a catch 22 really.  I need to give my feet a proper rest before tackling the long leg,  but at the same time I do not want to feel 'too comfortable' for too long since I fear my mind and bod...I'm a believer.
January 22nd, 2005  : 4102.0
------------------------

 I managed to find a couple of things in my bag that I hadn't used at all so far and seriously doubt I will do on the remaining leg.  Not a whole lot of kilos but my pack does feel a bit lighter.

...It is all about timing
January 23rd,  2005  : 3709.0
------------------------
 
 10 km short of my scheduled destination, but never a better-timed stop.

 15 minutes after I decided to call it a day (a long day!), at only one village and a 4 km climb up away from Ganden Mona...Inner Pee-ce
January 24th,   2005  : 4293.0
------------------------
The storm cleared the sky, and for the first time since my arrival in Lhasa (about a week) I see blue above me.

I had planned an early start with the idea of making it to Ganden Monastery before no...The Guinnea Pig
January 25th,  2005  : 3709.0
------------------------
 
 I feel like I am being 'sent' all these challenges to test me.  To see how badly I want this.    

The list of 'stones' in my way has been quite large;  no need to ennumerate them all as we all ...The Right Choice
January 26th,  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------

I spent all night tossing inside my sleeping bag feeling cold and suddenly very hot.  But mostly hoping to hear one of my hosts awake so I could head to the toilet while he/she curved The Beast.

...Circle of life
January 30th,  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------
Lhasa

While the New Year's preparations are on around half the country,  I try to stay focused and mentally prepare for what lies ahead as well as to regain as much weight and strength as possible ...The Shadow
February 1st 2005  : 3642.0
------------------------

Ridiculous really. I have been doing nothing but eating and sleeping since I got off that scale, laughing at my skinny 72 kg face, and this morning on the eve of my departure she (the scale) laughs ...Dilemma
February 2nd,  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------
Many people,  friends and family who as Pablo put it:  

Perspective
 February 3rd,  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------

I was about to send a 'nagging' dispatch about how pissed off I was about the broken camera disturbing my smooth going when Jo,  a friend,  reminded me that although this, to me and in this particul...Bad Karma for all thieves 'working' during the New Year's Eve.
  : 3642.0
------------------------
FEBRUARY 8,  2005 -  INSERT & EMERGENCY DISPATCH

The nature of this dispatch obliges me to go straight to the point and without any suspense at all.  Unfortunately this won't be a happy and colorfu...Good will always prevail
February 9th,  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------
As I said last night;  good people do exist and one person can make a difference... but a whole Team can make it all a lot better!

Yesterday as I was sending my dispatch, Tom and Tina from Explorer...The Touch
February 9th,  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------
Delayed Dispatch due to 'Break & Entry' emergency dispatch on February 8th.

Sunday February 6th was a special day at Sera Monastery where only once a year,  nearing the beginning of the New Year,  ...The Danger Zone
February 10th,  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------

Waking up on New Year's eve into a daytime nightmare was certainly not what I had expected when I decided to stay in Lhasa to witness the celebrations.  But after forcing my troubled mind to put the...Moonwalk
February 12th  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------
A quiet morning in lhasa with a rather less quiet afternoon as the main square slowly filled up with devotees praying around the Kora.

At dinner,  seated with a group of friends: Michelle, Vidur, M...Yin & Yang... unbalanced
February 15th  2005  : 3642.0
------------------------
I said before and i repeat it now;  it aint good to rest for too long and even more so in a place as 'equipped' as lhasa.

Once your mind and/or body slip out of the expedition,  you suffer when get...Everything is possible
February 17th  2005  : 3623.0
------------------------
First day out.  Both little toes look like water balloons and my left foot's sole already has an opened blister.

My right knee hurts on the inside and my left one still hurts if I put weight on it....The return of the Jedi... or just a rusty robot?
February 18th   2005  : 3562.0
------------------------
(T -58 +-5)

Absolutely destroyed!  Only two days into this second leg and both mines (legs) are a complete mess!

Boiled eggs
February 19th  2005  : 3804.0
------------------------
(T -57 +-5)

WIthout Skywalker nor R2D2 to oil this old machine,  my rusty legs walked me across the Chaksam bridge over the Tsang Po;  and as the sun woke up,  its warming rays slowly melted the ox...The Seventh Hour
February 20th   2005  : 4798.0
------------------------
(T-56 +-5)

Ready to reach the pass and stand above the Scorpion Lake (Yarlung means scorpiion) with one of the best views this area has to offer,  I set off at 09:00 sharp knowing that if a local s...The scorpion Lake
February 21st  2005  : 4439.0
------------------------
(T-55 +-5)


Boys don't cry
February 22nd  2005  : 4470.0
------------------------
(T-54 +-5)

Drastic meassures
February 23rd  2005  : 4470.0
------------------------
Day off... Injury forced rest.

Give a little love to your calves
February 24th  2005  : 4470.0
------------------------

Feeling a bit more optimistic today as I managed to get some positive opinions from different people (online doctor,  fitness instructors,  sports injuries' websties... And even from Helena;  an Ita...Thirty painless minutes
February 25th   2005  : 4470.0
------------------------

(T-54 +-5)

A lot better.  For about 30 minutes during the afternoon I felt no pain at all!  Then of course it came back,  but still much better than yesterday.  It feels a little sore to the touc...I feel good... better.
February 26th   2005  : 4470.0
------------------------
(T-54 +-5)

Strange and annoying.  This morning I woke up with more pain than yesterday.  Though not much at all,  I did expect and hope to wake up absolutely pain free.  Still,  the rest of the day...Max 3 km/h
February 27  : 4470.0
------------------------

Four days of proper rest;  gentle stretching;  massage;  and 2 anti-inflammatory pills a day,  and only two mere kilometers outside town my leg was already hurting!

Slow walking didn't make the p...The missing chief
February 28th  2005  : 4336.0
------------------------

Out on a white mooring after a mild midnight snowfall.  A truly beautiful site with the glacier so white and impressive,  and with the usual harsh winds that envelope the pass were still absent I sl...Broken wings
March 1,   2005  : 4336.0
------------------------

I understand now why babha saddhus don't take more than they can carry.
 
Like them,  I too am often offered things (usually water though),  and because I already have all I can carry,  I decline ...The power of one
March 2nd  2005  : 4336.0
------------------------

All I need is a miracle
March 3th  2005  : 4336.0
------------------------
Into a rundown dusty doorway I stepped,  walking past a group of rusty as well as dusty 'flying pigeon'  bikes on my left,  before I began my very slow but steady climb up an equally dusty cement stai...Crowded house
March 4th  2005  : 4336.0
------------------------
Second day of treatment and inside an even crowdier room than yesterday,  my leg was once again poked and electrified.  Three patients we were,  one on a bed one on a sofa and me on a chair.

Blood ...Lucky Seven
March 5th  2005  : 4336.0
------------------------

Another morning in Gyantse,  and 7 new needles that perforated my left leg with the sole mission of ridding it of the pain its been suffering since practically the beginning of this second leg.

S...G-7
March 6th  2005  : 4336.0
------------------------
After a very uncomfortabe night for my 'fat foot'  and a very active one for my brain as the sight of my swollen and hot foot before I went to sleep did nothing but raising concerns about the seriousn...St. Diego's Day
MARCH 17th,  2005  : 4336.0
------------------------
On March seventeen;  only thirty five years ago (or 36 as some Asian nationals may argue)  in the Southamerican capital city of Buenos Aires,  a baby boy was born.

Covered in smooth and velvety bla...Little house of horrors
March 7th  : 4336.0
------------------------

Day 5 on this poking routine and to my surprise and dismay,  my two group therapy buddies were not there.

They were either moved to another group more suitable for their 'problems,'  or they have...Hey good looking.
March 8th  : 4336.0
------------------------
March 8th

Learning the hard way
March 9  : 4336.0
------------------------

Acupuncture treatment is over,  and a further three days of rest were prescribed by the doctor who asked me to come back in in four days so that he can assess my leg's progress.

Without seeing my...Time will tell.
March 12th  : 4336.0
------------------------

So far I cannot say that these 7 days of treatment and 3 of rest have helped my leg heal.


                    Rules are meant to be bent... or broken.
March 13  : 4336.0
------------------------
A huge decision I have just made.  A difficult and possibly the
biggest and most significant decision I have made so far.

I will allow myself to 'break'  my rule of no transport and head to
the n...Good mourning Tibet
march 14  : 4336.0
------------------------

Contrary to popular beliefs,  expeditions are not just hard on one's body but on one's mind too;  and many times they seem way harder on one's mind than body.

Walking dully across town with my he...Waiting for the sun
march 15  : 4336.0
------------------------

Immediately after checking myself into a hotel I walked the 1,500 meters to the Military hospital;  the only hospital in town equipped with a (CT)scan machine.

$45 and half an hour later,  with m...Rational thoughts
March 18  : 4336.0
------------------------
I remember reading 2 stories about 2 different expeditions by 2 great explorers that taught me the same lesson.  One of them is regarded as the most accomplished explorer of our times,  and the other ...Calling Dr Paul
March 20th  : 4336.0
------------------------
Not all is what it seems.
March 22  : 4336.0
------------------------
I finally made it to the sauna after four days of threats from my part.

Having walked not even one km my leg began to hurt.  Not in the same spot (and not very badly)  but more on the outside and a...Fear of the unknown
March 26  : 4336.0
------------------------
Each time I walk past a wall in my hotel room I stretch my calves,  hamstrings and quads;  and since I have made it a point to stay very well hydrated I get to stretch quite regularly on my way to and...Does the world really go round?
March 28  : 4336.0
------------------------
Roger Federer seems unstopable.  Indonesia keeps being hit by natural disasters.  The Pope's health is fragile.  Soccer legend Diego Maradona declared himself a fan of leftist President Hugo Chavez.  ...I feel it in my fingers...
March 30  : 4336.0
------------------------
I cannot really tell whether electro-stimulation is helping the healing process or not.  My leg still hurts as it did the first day of treatment;  not more,  not less either.  I guess in some way it i...Ready
April 1st  : 4336.0
------------------------

I am ready!

I am ready to get back on the road;  I am ready to leave this place and cover the 96 km I was forced to bus in order to get the (CT)scan;  I am ready to begin getting closer to the fi...Less is more
April 3  : 3973.0
------------------------

 Universal
April 4  : 3890.0
------------------------

Beautiful area; walking alongside the mighty Tsangpo feels way lot more rewarding than eating dust from passing vehicles.

Since leaving town I have come across no people at all.  This feeling of ...Golden liquid
April 7  : 3840.0
------------------------

Last night, just as I had decided to stop, the pain reappeared.  Luckily I was already looking for a place to set up camp so I didn't walk enough to worsen it.

 Today, slow paced once more, I lis...The other side
April 8  : 3702.0
------------------------

Eight kilometers was the mark to beat today.  Eight kilometers more and I would have completed the 96 to Shigatse that had been weighing on my conscience since I came to get that scan.  

 Normall...Run Forest, run!
April 11  : 3702.0
------------------------

Having made it into town without much discomfort on my leg but aware of the fact that it is still not fully healed, I keep treating it with caution and await for some pain relief patches to arrive b...Determination
April 16  : 3750.0
------------------------

Excitement, anxiety, a rush of adrenaline flows through my veins as I head out of my hotel.  It is 06:45 and although I am running an hour later than planned, I am absolutely ready to get into the l...

 Expedition Log
EXPEDITION ROUTE INFO (Nautical Miles and Meters)
LAT LONG ALT DTS DTT DTG
Kathmandu 27.43 85.18 1200
Mount Kailash 31.05 81.19 5600
Total Distance 538.1
EXPEDITION LOG
D DATE LAT LONG ALT DT DTS DTT DTG
 
1 October 24th 2004 27°43.06 085°18.49 1230.0 0.35 0.35 0.35 538.43
2 October 25th 2004 27°43.06 085°18.49 1230.0 0 0.35 0.35 538.43
3 October 28th 2004 27°46.29 085°16.77 1383.0 6.6 6.34 6.95 532.22
4 October 29th 2004 27°49.89 085°14.28 1808.0 7.82 14.13 14.77 524.63
5 October 31th 2004 27°52.97 085°11.98 0547.0 6.82 20.92 21.59 517.96
6 November 1st 2004 27°55.31 085°08.94 0533.0 6.61 27.25 28.2 511.36
7 November 2nd 2004 27°58.48 085°11.15 0613.0 6.89 30.7 35.09 509.89
8 November 3rd 2004 28°00.66 085°12.84 1563.0 4.89 33.6 39.98 509.15
9 November 4th 2004 28°02.04 085°13.19 2061.0 2.61 35.93 42.59 507.83
10 November 5th 2004 28°06.76 085°17.73 1969.0 11.47 43.65 54.06 507.45
11 November 06th 2004 28°06.76 085°17.73 1969.0 0 43.65 54.06 507.45
12 November 7th 2004 28°06.76 085°17.73 1969.0 0 43.65 54.06 507.45
13 November 8th 2004 28°09.66 085°20.17 1463.0 6.68 49.1 60.74 506.93
14 November 9th 2004 28°15.21 085°21.99 1744.0 10.69 59.58 71.43 502.55
15 November 10th 2004 28°09.66 085°20.17 1463.0 10.69 49.1 82.12 506.93
16 27 Nov, 04 - 17:48 27°59.72 085°58.61 2167.0 65.54 72.87 147.66 567.11
17 28 Nov, 04 - 17:48 28°09.69 085°59.02 3733.0 18.42 82.84 166.08 556.39
18 29 Nov, 04 28°21.69 086°04.22 4273.0 23.76 103.61 189.84 550.34
19 30 Nov, 04 28°27.11 086°09.91 4546.0 13.67 117.25 203.51 552.47
20 01 Dec, 04 28°31.00 086°10.04 5136.0 7.18 122.48 210.69 548.75
21 02 Dec, 04 - 15:51 28°41.68 086°08.44 4563.0 19.92 135.8 230.61 536.14
22 03 Dec, 04 28°45.83 086°21.28 4307.0 22.26 155.05 252.87 550.38
23 04 Dec, 04 28°35.99 086°30.09 4237.0 23.17 152.78 276.04 571.86
24 05 Dec, 04 28°35.99 086°30.09 4237.0 0 152.78 276.04 571.86
25 06 Dec, 04 28°35.10 086°36.82 4338.0 11.09 160.39 287.13 582.18
26 13 Dec, 04 - 21:43 28°38.18 087°10.56 4319.0 55.26 209.88 342.39 627.78
27 Dec 15 28°48.08 087°15.97 4630.0 20.32 226.68 362.71 627.59
28 Dec 16 28°54.58 087°25.81 5090.0 19.99 246.59 382.7 637.15
29 Dec 17, 04 28°57.12 087°26.26 5256.0 4.76 249.72 387.46 635.94
30 Dec 19, 04 29°05.32 087°38.17 4022.0 24.56 274.18 412.02 648.01
31 Dec 20th, 04 29°03.64 087°48.78 4046.0 17.49 287.15 429.51 665.15
32 Dec 21 29°04.47 087°58.82 4535.0 16.36 302.03 445.87 679.8
33 Dec 23, 04 29°12.74 088°21.39 3916.0 39.63 341.44 485.5 709.04
34 Dec 24th 29°09.39 088°33.81 3962.0 21.05 356.54 506.55 730.08
35 Dec 25th 29°15.97 088°52.24 3849.0 32.23 388.71 538.78 754.68
36 Dec 28 29°16.49 088°52.60 3852.0 1.13 389.66 539.91 754.96
37 December 30th 29°10.08 088°58.38 3795.0 15.11 393.29 555.02 767.46
38 31 Dec 04 - 15:02 29°10.50 089°09.18 3807.0 17.53 409.73 572.55 783.89
39 Jan 02, 05 29°01.46 089°27.47 3884.0 34.03 431.69 606.58 817.23
40 Jan 04, 05 28°54.93 089°36.08 3938.0 18.46 441.4 625.04 834.31
41 Jan 05, 05 28°50.34 089°47.73 4154.0 20.75 457.37 645.79 854.98
42 January 06, 05 28°51.52 089°56.34 4336.0 14.15 471.46 659.94 867.51
43 January 08, 05 28°53.91 090°09.65 4962.0 22.07 493.5 682.01 886.64
44 January 09, 05 28°58.38 090°23.97 4470.0 24.68 518.08 706.69 906.32
45 January 11, 2005 29°11.67 090°36.97 4798.0 32.39 544.88 739.08 919.66
46 January 12th, 2005 29°16.28 090°37.55 3585.0 8.56 548.2 747.64 918.34
47 January 13th, 2005 29°21.20 090°44.14 3562.0 14.02 561.08 761.66 926.36
48 January 14th 29°31.93 090°56.87 3623.0 28.58 586.79 790.24 941.71
49 January 22nd, 2005 29°44.07 091°16.66 4102.0 39.01 624.28 829.25 968.23
50 January 23rd, 2005 29°41.89 091°25.66 3709.0 15.06 636.68 844.31 983.26
51 January 24th, 2005 29°45.36 091°28.53 4293.0 7.92 643.12 852.23 986.54
52 January 25th, 2005 29°41.89 091°25.66 3709.0 7.92 636.68 860.15 983.26
53 January 26th, 2005 29°39.29 091°08.17 3642.0 28.61 608.45 888.76 956.61
54 February 17th 2005 29°31.93 090°56.87 3623.0 22.75 586.79 911.51 941.71
55 February 18th 2005 29°21.20 090°44.14 3562.0 28.58 561.08 940.09 926.36
56 February 19th 2005 29°14.90 090°37.50 3804.0 15.85 547.39 955.94 918.92
57 February 20th 2005 29°11.67 090°36.97 4798.0 6.03 544.88 961.97 919.66
58 February 21st 2005 29°07.51 090°26.29 4439.0 18.94 526.12 980.91 905.09
59 February 22nd 2005 28°58.38 090°23.97 4470.0 17.3 518.08 998.21 906.32
60 February 28th 2005 28°51.52 089°56.34 4336.0 46.63 471.46 1044.84 867.51
61 April 4 29°05.27 089°23.57 3890.0 58.94 428.03 1103.78 809.04
62 April 7 29°13.88 088°55.49 3840.0 48.2 391.86 1151.98 760.86
63 April 8 29°15.83 088°52.92 3702.0 5.51 389.6 1157.49 755.81
64 April 16 29°15.08 088°50.99 3750.0 3.42 386.18 1160.91 753.24
 
ABBREVIATIONS
DTTDistance traveled total (true)
DTDistance traveled since last update (true)
DTSDistance traveled straight line (as the crow fly)
DTG Distance to go straight line (as the crow fly)
 
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