Day 7 – 17 March – Video post from Tingri
Hello from Tingri, backside of Tibet! I don’t mean to sound too negative about the last few days stay at the Tibetan towns of Zhangu, Nyalam and now Tingri, however there is not too many positive things to say about them either! The standards have been declining town by town, and it would be hard to imagine things to be much more rough than what we are staying at in Tingri. Luckily the scenery more than makes up for it the squalidness and filth.
It was a spectacular drive here over the 5100m Thong La (pass), where we stopped for some amazing views of the worlds 14th highest mountain – Shisha Pangma (as seen above my head in the photo below.)
Arriving at Tingri, was like driving into a scene from the wild west. We stay in a part of the town along the main road, which is lined with single story mud buildings. We stay in a ‘new hotel’ which even has sit-down toilets and electric lights. Only problem is there is no running water(not even cold) and no electricity! So the only thing that works in the little bathroom is the mirror!
The town itself is absolutely full of wild dogs, dogs everywhere which are quite scary and we always carry stones and sticks and walk in groups as they regularly attack people. The people are filthy and crap and pee in the dust in front of their homes(as I have witnessed a number of times), which along with the dog faeces, dries out and then blows everywhere as you walk around the town. Hence I wear a facemask. Ladies, men and children are constantly coming up and asking for money. The food is crap and I am just hoping I won’t catch some bug here before we leave for basecamp tomorrow. It really makes Kathmandu seem like paradise!
Every cloud has a silver lining and we have our first views of Everest from here – still 80+km away in the distance from Tingri – attached is a video showing the panorama.
I have been sharing my room for the last few nights with fellow kiwi Jim Morrow. Jim is as down to earth and as solid as they come, at 60 years old this is his 4th trip to the Himalaya, and has 40 years of rugged New Zealand tramping, alpine travel and climbing under his belt. Jim epitomizes the typical kiwi bloke, tough, uncomplaining, fit and completely humble of his achievements. (Quite a rarity in today’s species!) We have quickly settled in as room mates and he will be good to have on the mountain when things start getting tougher.
It will be the last nights sleep in a bed tonight for 50+ nights. Our elevation gain is 800m tomorrow, from 4300m here at Tingri to 5100m at Everest basecamp. This is a rapid ascent and almost three times the recommended normal daily rate of ascent of 300m/day, so am expecting to have some headaches and feel rough tomorrow night and for the following day or two.
Thanks to people for the comments and messages of support, it really means a lot and is a tremendous boost to morale. So to Mika from Singapore, Darren from UFIT, the father and mother of that little sh%t Kevan Mitchell!, Xray Lloyd in Australia, Josh in Norway, Kevin from Sri Trang in USA,Max Gough in Wellington and Michelle Wan in Singapore thanks very much!
Next update to come from Everest basecamp!
Over and out,