Hello from Shigatse!
We're not in Lhasa but the website won't recognise Shigatse as a place! We flew to Lhasa on Tuesday over the Himalayas which was pretty cool although it was quite cloudy for most of the flight! When we arrived it was really hot and sunny and the scenery was amazing! We have to drink 3 litres of water a day in order to avoid altitude sickness however this generates another problem (one which Greg is now known for) that is of course stopping for the loo every half hour!
Lhasa is 3500m above sea level and we all definately felt it! It was a really strange sensation at first, headache and generally feeling a bit weary but the hardest thing to get used to is getting out of breath very quickly. We have done lots of walking up and down to monasteries (lots of monasteries!) and it's really hard work. We're having a great time though and one of the highlights so far has been the yaks! On every menu there's a yak sizzler, yak burger, yak noodle soup etc etc. We've certainly made up for being veggies in India, plus we've had a few well needed Snow Beers!
The people in the group are great and we're all getting along really well and having loads of fun. We've visited lots of buddhist temples and monasteries which has been really interesting and the city itself is really interesting too for several reasons! We visited Potala Palace which is very impressive and have eaten in traditional restaurants and been to the markets plenty. Wherever you look it looks great because of the mountains and the sky is the bluest either of us have ever seen, it's a stunning landscape. It's cold when it's cloudy but as soon as the sun comes out we all get burnt quickly and it's boiling!
We stayed in Lhasa until Saturday morning in order for us to adjust to the altitude then we had a long but great bus ride to Gyantse. We took a high pass which reached above 4300m over the mountains and saw bright blue lakes, snow capped mountains and glaciers and tiny villages in the mountains which was amazing. You can see from the pics how stunning it is! Gyantse is the third largest town in Tibet although it seems to us like a small town. The people there live in traditional ways e.g. using cow poo as insulation on their homes.
Today we drove to Shigatse which is the second largest town after Lhasa. Tonight we are going to a local club where they play traditional music and everyone dances - should be interesting! Then tomorrow we drive to Sakya where there will be no ATMs, internet or hot showers so this is the last you'll hear from us until Thursday when we drive back to civilization in Nepal. We go to Everest on Tuesday which we're all excited about!
So until then!
g & k xxx