Day 41: Lhasa – Distance travelled so far 1,532km “Drepung Monastery and getting ready for Everest”

Today as we prepared to head to Drepung Monastery, we bumped into a local gent outside our hostel who played quite an unusual musical instrument. Needless to say, Brian was over in a flash!!!!!

What do you think he was trying to play???


We also purchased some traditional Tibetan style hats. Cozy out!!!


Tibet’s attitude to foreign knock-offs…..Subtle I thought!!!


Mike and Paul shopping for some warm Everest clothing

We headed to Drepung Monastery with Yak Boy. Check out the video and pics…


A Pilgrim heading to the Monastery


Steep climb = out of breath


We made it!!!


Brian with prayer flags behind


Yes Officer!!!!


View from the Monastery


Tea anyone!!!! It will take a while so be patient!!


Ray Mears wonders if the water is drinkable


Which one’s Brian


Gymatso on the bus home

Quizzing Paul on his Day 1 promise!

Tomorrow, we shall be heading on route to Everest Base Camp (EBC), which will take approx two days….so be sure to stay tuned for those pics and vids…They should be really special…

Until the next day, take care all. Hope you like the new blog format.

The Lads.

Chengdu – Lhasa

Day 39: Chengdu – Lhasa – Distance travelled so far 1,983km “Giant Panda’s/Tibet Permits and our man Gyamtso”

After a very heavy night out with our newly made American friends, we pluck up the courage to head to The Giant Panda’s in Chengdu. It proves to be a really cool experience. Check out the footage and pics.


Panda Panda Panda!!!!


Some more Bamboo Charles?….Why not Cedric!!!


Pand-tastic!!!!


Oh so cute….they are sleeping like little babies!!!!


Red Panda’s in Chengdu..Ferocious little guys we reckon!!


Boogie Wonderland!!!!

After our cool Panda experience, we set out on our route to Lhasa in Tibet. We have sent just two bikes ahead of us to Lhasa….(Brians bikes being in the hands of a Chengdu deviant).

We have now all the relevent permits and tour arranged….. and our contact named Gymatso aka “Yak Boy” will be waiting for us once we arrive in Lhasa…..It has taken a great deal of patience on our behalves, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the long run. Although cycling in Tibet will not be possible, we will certainly enjoy what Tibet has to offer…..Roll on Everest Base camp!!!!!!


Arriving in Lhasa (altitude 3,500m) – Pictured with our Tour Guide Gyamtso. Incidentally, those white scarfs we are sporting are traditional Tibetan gifting/thanking items given to us by Gyamtso on arrival…

Chengdu (Rest Days)

Day 35,36,37&38: Chengdu (Rest Days) – Distance travelled so far 1,983km “The Fireworks/The Bike Service & The Stolen Bike Fiasco

Hi all,

From now on we have decided to keep the text to a minimum and increase the amount of pics and video’s.
We feel that people enjoy the pics and vids more and you can get a better idea of what we’re going through with more video footage. We also hope that this will cut down the amount of work required to keep this blog up to date (and its alot!!!) Let us know what you think of the new format and if you have any suggestions feel free to drop us a mail.

Day 35

We arrived in Chengdu after getting the train from Kunming. The first thing that caught our eye was the ready supply of fireworks at the street stalls. Needless to say we purchased the biggest box on offer for a very reasonable 100Yuan (about 10 Euro). Check out the vid. Not bad at all!!!

 

Day 36

We also decided to get the bikes serviced (for the 1st time!!!) in Chengdu. We stumbled across a great shop named TF Bikes who did all three bikes for absolutely nothing..Score!!!!!

Many thanks to Liu Qing who helped us out. Check out their website @ www.tfbikes.com.cn


Liu with Brian and Mike. Very happy with free bike service. Thanks again.

Day 37

With all good luck there is a little bit of bad thrown into the mix. Unfortunately for us, we recieved the worst possible luck today. Brians bicycle (unattended for mere seconds!!!) was stolen whilst he looked for warmer clothing for our trip to Lhasa. With this huge body blow, we decided to let the bike insurance kick in and think about purchasing a replacement asap. Hopefully we can get a suitable bike sent to a destination ahead of us and then pick it up there…We figure that forgetting about this tragedy is the best thing to do. Its aweful but we will move on…

That night we meet a gang of Americans who are teaching English in Beijing so we decide to have a laugh with them. We especially met a cool buddy named Ryan Francis McQuid. An Irish brother of ours who couldnt play table tennis to save his own soul!!!!!… Keep it up chief…Youll get there in time!!!! ha ha ha……don’t bust too soon!…..and remember to keep in touch…..


Our newly adopted table tennis inductee, Ryan Francis McQuid.

For all you at home…..enjoy a little taster of our night!!!!

Our night at Sims Cozy Garden Hostel. Apologies to all Elton John fans!!!

Day 38

We boxed our bikes and sent them on a train to Lhasa in Tibet….Worrying stuff considering our obervations of the packing staff at the train station. We would see them again in another few days time…(With some luck!!)

With all our visas, permits and tour finalised we are all set for tomorrow. We decide to do some more site-seeing around Chengdu.


Horse-riding in Chengdu….Tally-Ho!!!!!


…and we thought our pannier bags were heavy!!!


Our green and black tea drinking experience at a traditional tea house in the Tea Market area of ChengduAll we can say is that”Pu’er” tea is top notchThanks to May (brown jacket) and staff for a great tea education.

We also gave the Cozy Garden Hostel another send off later that evening (and into the wee hours!!!)…..Great night was had by all……


Ill have another tea please Brian!!!!

Yuxi – Kunming (96km)

Day 34: Yuxi – Kunming (96km) – Distance travelled so far 1,983km “I’m Kunming”

Our night in Yuxi was fine apart from all the fireworks blowing up outside our hostel window….I felt sorry for our friendly hostel night porter who tried to calm things down on many occassions by shouting at the top of his lungs at all the kids outside. His attempts were pretty futile!!!


Looking Good Brian

We are very anxious to get to Kunming and onto Chengdu as quickly as possible to organise our tour into Tibet. We hear that Chengdu is the best and fastest place to organise the relevent permits for Tibet. Its going to be hell trying to organise things for Tibet and especially having 3 expensive touring bikes to bargain into the equation.

Todays cycle is pretty straightforward. Its approx 90km or so with 50km of that being nice and flat. We start the cycle discussing the finer points of Jack Charltons impact on Irish soccer. We also try to recall the entire USA 1994 squad.

The rest of the day was fine. The weather is gettting cooler (especially the mornings) and we usually wear our fleeces for the first 5-10km until we are properly warmed up. We cannot stop talking about going to Everest Base Camp (EBC) which should be a highlight of the trip. After about 40km, we decide to have some Chinese Green tea and soft breakfast type bread rolls with a pork/chicken dish…(very tasty!!)

We reach Kunming for about 3pm and decide to head straight to a travel agent in the centre of town to try to organise our safe route into Tibet. We make some great headway when we meet a man named “Laurence” who tells us that we can start our trip to Tibet right away and that we will have to stop at Chengdu for a couple of days to finalise permits and train tickets etc etc. We are very happy to proceed and decide to stay in Kunming for one night and head to Chengdu in the morning….Tibet here we come!!!!!!


Straight for a bit of Western!!

Kunming is a vibrant place with tonnes of historical sights on offer including The Yunnan Stone Forest. (Shi Lin in Chinese), which is about 120 kilometers from Kunming city. The Stone Forest hold magnificent stone masterpieces, various strange and steep intricate formations, and countless labyrinthine vistas…..They would be nice to visit but we have Everest on our minds at the minute. There is also the matter of visiting Panda’s in Chengdu so we dont feel so bad overlooking The Stone Forest….

Our guesthouse is great tonight. We have a cosy 3 bed dorm with hot water on demand so its fantastic. Shut eye for the bikers..Zzzzzzzz.

We shall talk tomorrow..

The lads.