Well if anyone bothers to read this on a regular basis, apologies for the delay but as you can see, the title of this wee entry is Tibet. And Tibet isn’t too hot on widespread internet use. Infact there’s a lot that Tibet isn’t to hot on, but that accusation lies soley at the steel-capped feet of the Chinese military. Lhasa was awash with them. Patrolling the streets and manning sniper spots on the rooves of buildings, the whole city felt like an occupied colony, and that’s exactly what it is. Sifting between these troops (some of them with guns that Arnie would have deemed OTT) were thousands of pilgrims and orange-clad monks, stetson-wearing tibetans and gawping travellers. During the day and even at night, many of these people would walk the clock-wise lap of the old-town, circling a temple from one million BC. Others prostrated themsleves pn the ground, indenting their heads with the sodden gravel amd soaking themselves through in the name of Buddah and the ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’ of Tibet, China’s Voldemort – the Dalai Lama.
We visied the Lama’s old hangouts – his summer palace and the big famous one you see on Chinese money – Potala Palace. They were truly incredible but it was a bit sad. Our amazing guide – a Tibetan lass called Meema (that’s Tibetan for Tuesday as it was the day she was born on, if you’re born on Thursday however you’re stuck with Poopoo for the rest of your life) described how everything was laid out as if the Lama would return. We saw where he would meditate, where he would sleep and even where his mum used to poo, but of course the only time he’ll return is when he’s kicked the Buddah bucket and he’s ash in a jar. It was like when old widows still lay out their husband’s suit every morning.
After the culture we set off in a land cruiser into a rather hilly region you may have heard of, known locally as the Himalayas. Now I know no-one wants to read about how lovely something was, and how beautiful and pretty the scenery turned out to be so I’ll spare you. Actually I don’t really know how to put what I saw into writing. Let’s just say it was good. To summarise – prayer flags, lakes, snow, rocks, valleys, villages and more prayer flags. Photos to follow. After a few days of this we came to the base camp of none other than Mount Everest. Spinks was almost giddy with excitement. Actually he was giddy, it was very annoying. We ran to the nearest point to the great peak we could reach, cameras at the ready with sweaty palms (despite the cold). There was a big cloud. We might have well been looking at Snowdon. Dejected we moped back to our tent and consoled ourselves with yak meat and beer. Spinks was inconsolable.
The next morning we awoke early to catch a hopeful sunrise on the famous hillock, but no, clouds remained, like a really annoying big jacket. Spinks was beyond help. But suddenly, the wind changed and before our very eyes Big E started to reveal herself, unbuttoning her cloud jacket so quickly that we were very soon greeted with a rather glorious sight. “Oh no.” Grumbled Spinks. “My camera battery just died.” I’ll be selling him my pics when we get back for a handsome price.
Well, now we’re in Nepal. To get here we drove down a valley that I last saw in Avatar, we had to navigate ourselves round a huge landslide and sang a few local songs with another Lama – this time just our lowly taxi driver. I’m off to do a 160 metre bungy off a rope bridge. Insert mass swearing here.