Heading to Old tingri

Previous page - Adun Guest House in Nyalam

 

What a long, long night

It was a night that seemed to last forever. I was constantly worrying that Ian and Jeremy weren’t breathing. At times I could hear Ian rustling around so I felt he must be OK but Jeremy was silent. At one stage I put my head-lamp on and just studied him until I was satisfied his sleeping bag was in fact moving up and down. At 4:30 a.m. I just had to go to the toilet. The lights in the guest house are extremely dim so I felt I would be safer if I had better lighting. On went my head-lamp again and, complete with toilet paper in my jacket pocket, I slowly made my way down the corridors to the toilet. The wind was blowing an absolute gale down there. It almost sounded like it was raining. I just about flew back down that hallway and into bed again. Later on Ian told me he had a fright in the night because he couldn’t breathe. He had to sit up for a while till he felt better. I must have been asleep whilst that was going on. Finally at 8:30 a.m. we got up.

 

We see our first snow up close

We kept our thermal underwear on and just put a pile of other clothes on top of them, trying to retain as much body heat as possible. Ian walked outside the bedroom door to see what the day looked like. He absolutely raced back into the bedroom to tell us it was snowing out there. Jeremy and I shot out into the corridor to see it for ourselves. Jeremy was totally blown away. It was the first time he had seen snow this close.

 

 

Breakfast in the Adun Guest House Café

We headed downstairs to see what was available to eat. We chose Tibetan bread plus eggs. Tibetan bread turned out to be much like our pita bread. The egg was of course an omelette. Jeremy said he couldn’t eat it and I was feeling nauseous so I didn’t swallow much either. I’m never normally nauseous and I realized much later that it was the Diamox I was taking (to prevent altitude sickness) that was causing it.

 

Onwards further in to Tibet

At 9:30 a.m. we dragged our gear back down the stairs into the back of the waiting car. Jeremy had chance to make his first little snowballs and throw them at his father. As we drove along the snow got heavier and heavier. It was extremely difficult driving. We were so glad the experienced Punti was at the wheel. Basically he had to follow other vehicles tyre tracks to know which way to go. When the tyre marks disappeared under more snow, the guide had to stick her head out of the window and tell the driver how far (or near) the edge of the road he was.

Jeremy enjoys his first snow Jeremy enjoying the snow

Everywhere was incredibly white. It was such a totally new and odd experience for us guys. I think it is what is called a “white out”. Jeremy thought it was all rather exciting but Ian and I were nervous.

The snow eased off for a while at one point and we drove past a car that had recently run off the edge of the road and into a shallow gully.

Another car we saw seemed to have shredded a tyre. Our driver was brilliant though. He wasn’t one for taking chances.

 

 

The car stops for a while in the snow We stop the car - probably for a toilet break
Tyre marks luckily for us Difficult to see without tyre marks to follow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dreaded toilet breaks

Twice we stopped for toilet breaks. Easy enough for men but not easy for ladies. The first time we stopped the car the men went up the front of the vehicle so I squatted down behind the car hoping no one would see me. I did my darned best but the icy conditions meant that as my wee hit the icy ground it was bouncing and spraying back up and going on my trouser legs. Then my feet started to slip apart. I had to press down hard with my hands on my feet to stop the slide, then finish my business, try to get into an upright position and then quickly dress myself.  I suppose in hind-sight it would have been funny to watch. I was so glad the men were nowhere near me. When we climbed back into the car I found the Wet Ones and tried to wipe away at my trouser legs without making them any wetter than they already were. I really didn’t want to smell of urine.  A while later we had another toilet break. I managed only marginally better that time. 

For all the roadside toilet breaks we had in Tibet I never once saw Tiki (our guide) doing a wee. Punti, the driver did, but not our guide. I still don’t know how she managed that.

 

Next page - The Amdo Guest House

 

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