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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 41 - 50 of 2060 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

May 08, 2018 12:00 AM A long way to Lhasa...

A long way to Lhasa... It is not easy to deal with the local town names. Usually each of the places has Chinese name and different Tibetan name and each of those has different translation to English so it is already four different names for the same place. Very hard....
In Linzhi on the highway G318 where we spent the night they have cypress garden with the tree which is 50 m high and 3200 years old (they say) We went there but the garden was closed for reconstruction.
Bad luck!
At 9 am we departed Linzhi by G318, but soon we were driving on the empty, elegant freeway. Wow! Just at the beginning of this year they opened new-built freeway from Linzhi to Lhasa. Only the tunnel under Mila Pass is not ready yet. The freeway - first in the Tibet (if you do not count Lhasa to airport road) goes all over the way along 318 epic highway, which is still fully open and used by bikers and trucks...
Is it good news? Yes - for the drivers, but not for the tourists because the visibility foem the car is limited by the freeway fences!
Okay, before climbing to the pass we turned righr. After 36 kms on the third-class road we reached Basumtso mountain lake. Very nice, 18- kms long with a Tibetan Monastery on the small lake island. Worth th see, but they charge from seniors 110 yuans for enthe and the shuttle bus who will drive you in and out.
Then we returned to the main road and started climb to Mila Pass 5013 m above the sea. Before the pass we changed to G 318. Wow! Full sun, huge snow fields and glaciers around, great views! The is the highest point on our route... In the evening Lhasa was on the horizon.

May 07, 2018 12:00 AM 4012 kilometers west from Shanghai

4012 kilometers west from Shanghai Chinese National Highway G318 goes all over the China from Shanghai to the border of Nepal close to Mt Everest. Roads are limited in this corner of Tibet. Dreaming about crossing East Tibet I came to the conclusion that this will be my route. Yesterday I reached km 3879 and this was the easternmost point where foreigners are alloved to go from the Tibet side. The segment from this point to the official border with Sichuan province is closed for us.
I spent a night in Bomi, on kilometer 4012.
Wonderful snowy mountains greeted me at the sunrise. Today we will start to drive again 318 road toward Lhasa. Do not think thet 318 is a comfortable, wide freeway. On this segment it is regular, two-lane road with many bumps, exposed to the landslides (here it goes through the high mountains) and stones falling down... Black pigs and yaks are wondering around on the road and do not care about car horns. But the landscapes are extremely beautiful... This will be another day in the deep canyons of the white water rivers. The weather seems to be nice!

May 06, 2018 12:00 AM To the glaciers and mountain lakes...

To the glaciers and mountain lakes... Eastern Tibet surprised me with its lush green, rapid rivers and deep canyons... It is completely different landscape then tn the north and west of Tibetan Plateau. Yesterday we were again on the level of the snows passind the Sekim La pass on the level almost 4600 m.
Then is was pleasant descent to Bami village where snowy peaks are around.. We slept here on the level almost 2400 m - much better sleep...
Today we will follow G318 highway (narrow and not in the best shape on this stage) to the Rawok Lake and the glacier. It should be wonderful day if the weather will be clear!
Later in the evening: we were lucky to have a sunny day, returning at 6 pm - tired but happy. The lake was nice, turquoise, with a lot of huge Christmas trees around :)
We visited also two glaciers. They require a hike to get closer. Not a long hike, but it is different hiking if you climb on the level of 4000 m above the sea. See Midui glacier on the picture...
Great day

May 05, 2018 12:00 AM Flying over the forbidden zone

Flying over the forbidden zone I was dreaming during last night about snowy mountains. Our yesterday's passage through Four Girls Mountain during the sunny weather was very impressive. But this was very short night! 4 am wake up call. At 5.20 we were already in the airport where, before boarding small plane our Tibet Permit was checked twice. Then the 1,5 hour flight over the clouds. Great views and a lot of turbulence... Very difficult approach to the runway - just over the snowy mountains. Airport is surprisingly elegant. The car with local guide was waiting for us to drive us to the town of Bayi. Here, at the police station our permits must be registered and stamped. No other way... We are waiting already two hours... We have still to drive today around 300 kms east to the Bomi township.

May 04, 2018 12:00 AM High mountains, deep gorges...

High mountains, deep gorges... On approach to Tagong you will see many painted stones with "Om mni padme hum" inscription in Tibetan. Also thousands of prayer flags - sometimes they put them high on the mountains. Tagong itself is a little, picturesque town filled with Tibetan-style architecture. Some 50 percent of the people wear national costumes...
The monastery is right at the main street with nice gate, great court and two temples. Pilgrims are coming to pray here, very few tourists - this creates great atmosphere. From Tagong we were driving down to the canyon of unnamed mountain river with the great view of sowy Mt. Yala.
The tiny road was destroyed by the river in many places. Fortunately the traffic is little. Then fromDanba we were climbing 6 kms to the picturesque Jiaju Tibetan village located on the high slope. All houses are in Tibetan style here so you feel like in the skansenn, but the village is alive - locals are working on the miniature potato fields and in vegetable gardens selling nuts and cherries on the roadside. Very nice people, but zero English knowledge... I spent 3 hours wondering around...
Today we are heading through the mountains to Luding - if there will be no landslides blocking the mountain road.

May 03, 2018 12:00 AM Tibetan monasteries and villages

Tibetan monasteries and villages The highlight of yesterday's long drive was restored gompa in Kangding with the great view of the town squeezed in the canyon. Then we climbed to the Zheduo mountain pass 4298 m high, covered by snow. It was still snowing there and sorry, visibility was poor.... On the pass there is a chorten (see picture) and vertical stone confirming the altitude. In the little, new pavilion you can buy drinks and souvenirs.
After a night in Xinduxiao (poor hotel and poor Chinese breakfast) spent on the level 3400 m today we will go northwest - to Tagong Monastery and to the Jiaju Tibetan Village - it is on the list of tourist wonders of China. I pray for the sunny weather, but on this altitude it is very changeable.. Let's hope!

May 02, 2018 12:00 AM Up to the mountains!

Up to the mountains! Yesterday in the afternoon I took a walk around central Chengdu. The city is even more bright that 2 years ago during my previous visit. There are new pandas (the symbol of Chengdu) made of metal, plastic, stone in mane places. I walked to the central Tianfu Square to say Hello to the Chairman Mao - he still stands there adored and respected.
In the evening we had a meeting with the other members of our small group - it is only 4 of us: 3 from Switzerland and me, plus Luis - the local guide. It seems that the Chinese closed the part of our route and we will be forced to fly over the part of our planned itinerary. That's China!
Can you imagine that it takes me 20 minutes or even more to upload one page to the internet? The Big Brother is watching me here. The page can be sent when approved. :)
But today we are starting to drive up to the west - the next overnight stay will be on the level of 3400 m above the sea!

May 01, 2018 12:00 AM Landed in Chengdu!

Landed in Chengdu! I was very much impressed yesterday when I was boarding China Southern plane to Beijing and they offered me free upgrade to the economy premium class. Food is the same in tnis class but you have much more space for the legs and wider seats. Thank you!
6 hours time change. We landed in Beijing at 6 am local time. After immigration and costoms control I was going 2 levels up to check-in for the domestic flight to Chengdu. Elegant Chinese young lady speaking basic English approached me asking which is my flight. Then she went with me to the check in counter and onward to security.
Then she pointed herself saying Moni. - Thank you very much Moni, it was very nice to meet you! -Moni, dollar, euro, pound...
Oh my God! She wants money from me! Is this how it works in communist China?...
Security guys wanted me to drink all water from my bottle. I was just on time for boarding A330 to Chengdu.
Big plane was half empty. Young attendents were very enthusiastic - I got warm breakfast and two Yanjing beers. We were talking about my travel plans and finally we made a picture...
Hazy weather and 25 deg. Celsius in Chengdu.... The driver took us to the Ibis hotel in the center. Is seems he doesn't know the city - it was not easy to find the way.
So, it is time to rest... Greetings from Sichuan!

Apr 30, 2018 12:00 AM Yes, I got Tibet Permit, but...

Yes, I got Tibet Permit, but... Early wake-up. At 5.20 am I have been already in the Gdansk airport, the flight to Amsterdam was departing when the sun was rising over Gdansk... Yesterday I got via e-mail from the Chinese Agency my travel permit for Tibet. I believe that you know the situation... Foreigners are not allowed to travel to Tibet alone. OK, I will have the escort. But it is not the end of the limitations... You need special permit issueduby Chinese Authorities with the list of the places you are allowed to go with your escort. In the document I got it is written only in Chinese...
And the agency wrote that they did not received the permit for all requested places.... Not clear... Who knows... we will see...
I am now in Amsterdam airport waiting foe China Southern flight to Beijing. It will be flying around 10 hours. Due to the time change I will be in Beijing around 6 am.

Apr 29, 2018 12:00 AM New exciting expedition - East Tibet!

New exciting expedition - East Tibet! Years ago a journalist asked me if I still have travel dreams after visiting all the countries of the world and twelve trips around the globe. I mentioned then that I dream of meeting with the imperial penguins and a land trip along the main range of the Himalaya from Yunan to Kashgar. I tried to deal with this second project many times, but the Chinese authorities have always refused to let me pass through Eastern Tibet. And this year, there is finally a hope for crossing the Chengdu section - Lhasa! After arriving to the capital of Tibet, I intend to go on the transtibetan railway to Lanzhou. When in 1987 I was in Tibet, this railway did not exist...
Traveling now the highest railway in the world will be an additional attraction of this trip. Let me remind you that just recently the primacy in this field was held by the Andean railway designed by Ernest Malinowski - I rode it in 1984. I am also interested to see how Lhasa looks like after 31 years. I want to stopover in the unknown to me Lanzhou. From there I will return to Chengdu by train, and then by plane to Poland. If there will be internet access on the route the hot messages and photos from this expedition you will see in my travel log Please keep the fingers crossed for me - on the route there are the passes higher then 4000 m...

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