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Old 28th July 2009, 10:02   #46
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Congrats Deky for making it braving all the odds. Loved your Kathmandu pics. Keep going.
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Old 28th July 2009, 10:15   #47
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@ Deky, Great trip. I plan to do this trip once in my life atleast.
Please do put up the exact 'To Do' things like planning the trip.
That includes permits, time and general costs incurred per person.
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Old 28th July 2009, 10:44   #48
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Ah, Deky, the survivor! Hero from the high seas!
Another masterpiece in the making!
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Old 28th July 2009, 12:39   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Awesome triplog.

Lovely pics of the roads - I have felt a deep sense of shame as an Indian when I saw the kind of highways made by China at Nathu La. Or when you sit down with Indian soldiers at Kargil and hear their stories.
Sir, its still much better to be living in India than in China, Ill tell you why in this log later

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Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
I have heard about the toilets being unbearable in those areas but I have also heard of the local town dwellers renting out their comparatively cleaner ones on a pay and use basis. You could probably try to inquire about them if time permits or you feel the need.
You are right, there were such pay and use toilets, but only in 2 places, hence had to use primitive facilities in the rest. But then at the end of the trip toilets are a non issue

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Originally Posted by mayurpalav View Post
@ Deky, Great trip. I plan to do this trip once in my life atleast.
Please do put up the exact 'To Do' things like planning the trip.
That includes permits, time and general costs incurred per person.
Ill keep adding the details in between the travel diary, but if I do miss out something in the end please let me know

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Ah, Deky, the survivor! Hero from the high seas!
Another masterpiece in the making!
Yeah from sea level to 19000ft!!!!
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Old 28th July 2009, 15:06   #50
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Awesome travelogue. Needless to say, the contrasts between China and India (both negative and positive) are quite interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
So the question, why such a nice road for such less traffic??
Well, you have answered your question yourself with this:

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Also since it will be border road, good roads will mean faster movement of defence personnel in case of a war.
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Old 28th July 2009, 16:32   #51
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Deky you asking do we need more onto that, common man bring it on and surely one of its kind on this forum, and surely would be awaited.Teaser is asking for more more more!!!
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Old 28th July 2009, 16:44   #52
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Hey deky, I happen to be a big fan of the travel shows aired on Discovery Travel & Living. I must say now that your coverage has been much much more extensive in the form of information for future travellers to that region. Am glued to this thread for the pics, the narration and the information. Thank you.
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Old 28th July 2009, 17:00   #53
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Deky - Real cool stuff.
Waiting for the final leg of your journey.
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Old 28th July 2009, 17:40   #54
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Deky cool stuff..waiting for next installment...
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Old 28th July 2009, 17:56   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonelyPlanet View Post
Waiting for the final leg of your journey.
It is going to be a long wait till the final leg...deky has just begun!! Please see the Table of Contents below to get a hint of things to come

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DAY 01: (June 29): Arrive at Kathmandu airport and transfer to Hotel Harati.
DAY 02:(June 30): After breakfast go for sightseeing tour to visit temple of Pashupatinath the biggest Hindu Temple.
DAY 03: (July 01): DRIVE To NYALAM - (3750m)
A short drive of only 30 km (approx. 1:30 hrs.) from the border to reach Nyalam O/N.
DAY 04: ( July 02): REST DAY IN NYALAM - (3750m) We will stay one day more for the acclimatization in Nyalam, stay at the same Guest House In Nyalam.
DAY 05: ( July 03): DRIVE TO SAGA - (4840m) Drive approx 8 hrs (250 km) to the huge lake called Peiku-tso crossing two high passes. After a picnic lunch at the bank of Peiku-tso lake we
continue drive to Saga crossing the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra River) stay at Guest House in Saga.
DAY 06: ( July 04): DRIVE TO PRAYANG - (4540m) After a drive of (250 km) 8 hrs approx. we will reach to Prayang, this is a small town, we will stay at lodge in Prayang.
DAY 07: (July 05): DRIVE TO MANSAROVAR - (4558m). After the drive of 280 km approx 8 hrs we reach holy Lake Mansarovar
located just 30km south of Mt. Kailash. Stay at the lodge in Hore,
DAY 08: (July 06): DRIVE TO DARCHEN – (4560m) After taking holy bath and performing Puja, will take you to parikrama of Mansarovar Lake and proceed to Base Camp of Mt.Kailash stay at Guest House in Darchen.
DAY 09: (July 07) :TREK TO DIRA-PUK - (4900m). Drive about 8 km to Tarboche, this is the starting point for Kora and trek to Deraphuk stay at camp.
DAY 10: (July 08): TREK TO ZUTUL-PUK - (4790m.) Will again proceed to Drolma Chu valley, heading up towards a high pass, the Drolma La (5640m.). It's a tough climb to the summit, which is festooned, with prayer flags but from there it is all downhill or flat to Zutul-Puk, stay at the camp of ZutulPhuk.
DAY 11: (July 09): DRIVE ZUTUL-PHUK TO HORE, MANSAROVAR. Trek to Rongdu and drive to Darchen to proceed Hore-Mansarovar – stay O/N
DAY 12: (July 10) RIVE TO PRAYANG Drive from Hore Mansarovar to Prayang- stay at lodge in prayang.
DAY 13: (July 11): DRIVE TO SAGA. Stay at lodge.
DAY 14: (July 12): DRIVE TO NYALAM. Stay at lodge.
DAY 15: (July 13): DRIVE BACK TO TIBET/NEPAL BORDER and drive to Kathmandu - check-in to Hotel Harati P.LTD.
DAY 16: (July 14): After breakfast drive to airport for onward journeys.
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Old 28th July 2009, 21:35   #56
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Default DAY 5: NAYALAM (3750MTRS) TO SAGA (4500MTRS)- 250Kms

The journey from the town of Nayalam to Saga was quite an adventurous one. The total distance to be covered today would be 250kms and the approximate time it would take, was told to us would be around 7 hrs.

We had an early start. Tea and cornflakes was served to us at 5.30 am, as we were supposed to be ready by 6.00am to move. Would you believe it all 24 of us were ready by 6.00am and were ready to moove. Indian groups are not known for their punctuality during their travels, but thank God this we were different.

EARLY START
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The reason could be either the excitement to what is to follow or could be that all the yatris were well rested and acclamatised. One rest day in Nayalam indeed did well for us.

By 6.30 am we were on the move, we were delayed because of the sherpas. No, I am not blaming them, they work really really hard in adverese weather conditions just to make our trip an enjoyable one. It was just that they did not expect us to be ready in time, plus they had to wash the cups and the bowls used by us, pack up the kitchen, load the items in the truck, load our duffle bags in the truck. So that took some time.

It was pretty dark when we started but in some time the day started to break in. We were still on that smooth tar road travelling North west . The sky and the surrounding hills were covered with clouds and were looking very mystical.

A CLEARING THROUGH THE MYSTICAL CLOUDS
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There was still some greenery around and few settlements with farmlands. Otherwise the hills mostly were barren and pretty rugged.

SETTLEMENT AND FARMING
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SMOOTH ROADS WERE A PLEASURE TO DRIVE ON
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In about an hours time from starting we crossed Lung La (pass). This is the highest motorable pass in this trip at 5100mtrs. The pass was covered with clouds and since the sun had not come out it was still very cold. After a brief stop here for natures call, group mooved on.

LUNG LA AT 5100MTRS
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WIND OPERATED PRAYER WHEELS
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In our convoy we had a total of 7 jeeps and a truck. The jeeps usually moove in a convoy, not venturing very far from each other. The drivers usually stop after every 1 hr so that all the jeeps can collect together and move on. These stops can be well utilised by yatris for nature's call. Since acetazolamides are diuritics they tend to take out water from the body. As a result water intake also increases. Plus cold and dry weather conditions also increase the need for such stops.

Soon the good road finished and we were now on a road that was made of stones and mud and just leveled. Well, atleast now, the land cruisers ability as a good off roader be put to test. Little did I know then that for the next 10 days we will be on such roads or no roads only.

SMOOTH ROADS ENDS
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MAKE YOUR OWN ROAD TIME
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As the clouds started to lift, we were treated to beautifull sights around. We could now see some snow peaks few and far but mostly the mountains were very dry and barren. The only greenery visible was in the valley that to if there was some water flowing.

DAY BREAK
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SNOW CAPPED PEAKS AS THE CLOUD LIFTED MORE
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GREENERY WAS ONLY LIMITED AROUND STREAMS
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Being at a height of 5000mtrs and not seeing snow was disspointing, but the scenery was more breathtaking and it soon overcame the disappointment.

BEAUTIFULL VIEWS OF THE SURROUNDINGS
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The cloud cover was vanishing fast and on one side we could see high mountains. They were looking spectacular. later we stopped at a check point and realised we were seeing the Shisha Pangma Mountain, that is the 14th highest mountain in the world at 8027mtrs and the only 8000+ mountain in China.

SHISHA PANGMA MOUNTAINS
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ABOUT SHISHA PANGMA
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VEHICLES WAITING FOR THE REST OF THE CONVOY
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A SMALL VILLAGE
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We stopped there for a while took photographs and moved on. At the begining we were given packed Toast with jam with buiscuits to be had as breakfast. I cant say it was nice having toast like leather but then on high altitudes you loose appetite too. So I had whatever I could.

The scenery was getting even more better but the road was not. Its so dry out there that if you caught behind another jeep, you will be just inhaling dust from the jeep in front, you open the windows to take a snap and your camera will be covered in dust too. Even if you manage to take a pic successfully in those bouncing tracks either the pic will be all shaky or the suspended dust particals in the air will mess it up.

THE ROAD GETTING WORST
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NOTE: If possible somehow keep your camera covered in a plastic while shooting or get those underwater plastic cover body for the camera. Or else you are at a great risk of jamming the camera due to dust.

THE DUST ALL AROUND
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Now we could see a beautifull lake up in front. This is the Paiku Tso (lake) created mostly by melting glacial water from the Shisha Pangma. It had a striking blue clolour and was looking so beautifull surrounded by brown mountains. Even the sky colour is worth mentioning here since you never get to see such a pure sky blue ever in the cities.

PAIKU TSO LAKE
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Then there was this lake which was stinking of sulphar. There were some hot springs around the sulphar deposits were seen all around the lake

SULPHAR SPRINGS
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ANOTHER VILLAGE, THE SMELL WAS OVERPOWERING
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Maximum limit of 30 photos reached...to be contd in next post
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Old 28th July 2009, 21:47   #57
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....CONTD. FROM ABOVE POST

We crossed 2 more passes on our way. The valley after crossing one of the passes was very green, totally in contrast to the dry valley before. Here you could see flocks of sheep and other animals mostly yaks and a few mules grazing leisurly.

DESCENDING TO A GREEN VALLEY
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GRAZING CATTLE
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FEW FLORA AROUND..FAUNA TO FOLLOW LATER
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STRAIGHT LINES CHINESE STYLE
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Our first view of Brahmaputra or the Yarlong Tsangpo (river) as known in Chinese was as got close to Saga. Till few years back there was no bridge on the river and the crossing had to be done on ferries, even the jeeps were transported on the ferries, hence this took a lot of time. Now a bridge has been made and you save lots of time due to this

RIVER ON YARLONG TSANGPO (BRAHMAPUTRA)
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Finally we reached Saga town at around 2.30pm. After about 8 hrs of back breaking journey and lots of dust it was nice to see that we have reached our destination. Saga hotel was full of surprises. It was a proper hotel, I would rate it 4 star. It had proper bedsheets washed and clean towels, attach baths, hot and cold water (though hot water had timings) and TV's..That was some luxury to have after Nayalam.

OUR HOTEL IN SAGA
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THE LOBBY
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MOM RELAXING AFTER THE BACK BREAKING AND LONG JOURNEY
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Lunch was served at around 3.30pm and immediately after Mom started throwing up. She could not keep anything in her tummy and this continued till the evening and got me worried. Lot of vomitting can result in loss of fluids which is not a good thing. Luckily in another group from Mumbai (the same group with us on the plane) the group leader was a doctor, I requested him to come and have a look at Mom, to which he was more than happy to do.

After looking up Mom he came to a conclusion that basically the problem was due to indigestion and also the long break between breakfast (6.00am) and STARTlunch 3.30(p.m). There was nothing to worry about, he asked mom to have Domstol tablet and then later Digene and sleep.

Relieved by the doctors diagnosis, I ventured out to have a look around the town, This was a much bigger town than Nayalam, as this town had a big Chinese military base. We were very clearly told at the Check-in time not to take photos of the base or you could be jailed and that could result in diplomatic problems.

SAGA TOWN
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A YOUNG CHINESE LADY
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A TYPICAL TIBETIEN MAN...NOTICE THE SHARP FEATURES
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TIBETIEN ARCHITECTURE
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I found an Internet cafe and decided to spend some time there. Infact I realised later that internet cafes are present in each village but the only thing is that the keyboards have Chinese alphabets so using them can be difficult. Luckily this one had English alphabets It was pretty cheap to use the internet, about 4Yuan (30/-INR) for an hour.

International Phone calls (via internet) were also available at a slightly expensive rate 5yuan (36/- INR) for a minute.

I came back to the hotel to find Mom still sleeping, had my dinner, shaved and had a bath (next 10 days we wouldnt be getting such luxury again) I watched some TV, all the channels were in Chinese, even BBC had a delayed broadcast and was dubbed in Chinese. (Chinese dont want the Tibetien to be in touch with the world outside, hence all TV programmes are sensored)

Mom got up at around 11.30 feeling hungry, good sign!!. I thought Ill try my luck in the kitchen if there is something still left. I had to wake up the sherpas and they were kind enough to heat up some Khichadi for her without any protest. My respect for the Sherpas increased more.

Since Mom's problem was caused due to long gap in meal hours, in next post ill give tips on essential things to carry while travelling in the jeep. This is important as u might be on the road for a while due to natural causes or any other delays.

Last edited by deky : 28th July 2009 at 21:49.
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Old 29th July 2009, 00:29   #58
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This is an epic, deky, and absolutely enthralling!
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Old 29th July 2009, 00:50   #59
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deky sir i am keeping a close watch on this log since we three friends are also thinking of going to mansarover lake .
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Old 29th July 2009, 08:49   #60
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Excellent pics. Esp those taken from the fast moving vehicle. mind blowing.

Should I say more? nice pics, keep them coming
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