Edita wrote today. Great news the Chinese sim card Edita bought on line while in Europe is working! So, for others that are headed that way in the future and hear the horror stories of buying a Sim cards when you arrive in China (getting ripped off), there is a way to stay connected and cheap too! Buy your sim card BEFORE you go! Edita wrote today 🙂
“It is stressful to wait in line all day when you arrive late. If you can’t get across the border before 4 pm on the asigned day, you pretty much lost your chance entering Tibet for this permit.
We were lucky all our group members passed the border without any problems. The gear and food also past through except our power generators. However, with little cash, the problem was resolved without beg delays.
During the border crossing, no photos or videos are alowed to take. So, my only photo is of all of us walking up the hill after we crossed the border. It was a 10-15 min walk until we got to our bus. The road was so narrow and the passing trucks and buses were almost crushing us. Very dangerous.
On the Way to Nyalam. Bad road but great scenery
We drove about 20 min to the nearest town of Zongmu, which is high up on a hill. I could feel our elevation was increasing. I remembered Zongmu from my Cho Oyu expedition in fall 2011. The hotel was the worst I ever stayed – dirty rooms with sinky toilets and no water. I was glad we didn’t have to stay here on this trip! However, the food is good. I love Chinese food and it was pretty good now, few years later. The only differece was that this time they asked us if we one Chinese food or Western food. We all unanumously voted on Chinese! You want to eat local foods in these places as you can get sick quickly from any foreign foods as imported products are not fresh nor preserved properly.
First Chinese meal in Tibet
The drive from Zongmu to Nyalam was rather quick, about an hour drive from Zongmu which is on the Chinese-Nepalese border, along the Friendship Highway. Nyalam is not a very nice place, a single street town, damp and grey. Last night it started even snowing. The only way to stay warm is in your sleeping bag! The altitude here is about 3,500meters and the air feels thiner. From here, you can see a range of hills in the distance. The river Bhote Khosi which we followed when w left Kathmandu and from the border flowed us up to here.I am still suffering from a chest infection I got in Kathmandu from dust and smog. The smoke that comes out from damp little houses here in Nyalam irritates my throught and lungs even more here.
Still well enough to go shopping 🙂
I am trying to avoid the places with open fire stoves as much as I can. Last night I was coughing so bad all night I started taking antibiotics. It is disapointing I am not even at the base camp I am suffering already! This morning I feel a little better, resting and staying warm in my sleeong bag all day! Other group members have the same problem, maybe not so extreme as me. I am enjoying Margaret’s company who is my roomate here in Nyalam. She is taking slow pace as me. Last night she chose to stay in bed and skip the dinner. When I came back from dinner, I found a warm water bottle in my sleeping bag! It was the best feeling ever!
Edita and Margaret. Margaret is a Very Cool Woman – She climber Everest Last Year!
We will stay in Nyalam till tomorrow. This is a part of our acclimatization routine. Tomorrow, we’ll be going to Tingri which is 4,300 meters. It will be almost another 1,000 meter increase. It seems not a lot, but I felt it yesterday while running up the stairs the effects of the altitude. My room is on the 4th floor and when I ran up, I had to stop for a moment as I felt lightheaded and out of breath. This has also to do with my bad cough during past few days.
I am not worred about my health at this point. We have plentty of time to recover and acclimatize. Actually, I am glad it’s happening now and not later on, during climbing. Hopefully, I’ll build immunity for later on!”
I will do my best to keep up with Edita’s travels. Again, it is great she got that Chinese sim card 🙂