49th day Fri 30th May ~ making our way from Tingri to Everest Base Camp(EBC)‏

Brilliant day today, however the day didn’t start very well. After a great night’s sleep, as a consequence of which, we got up late! Of all the days, today we needed to get out early!
Went to have a shower and the hot/cold control snapped off and the bath tap water was working was dispensing freezing water. Luckily there was a stainless steel wash bowl, borrowed another one from Manvir’s room – by this time they were already to go. The kettle that I had used the previous night to warm up the room was handy this time to boil enough water to be able to have a wash – what a palaver!

Anyway got on our way after a slight delay – Pretty excited about the next couple of days – Mt Everest and the North Face, can it get any better? However the excitement was coupled with a tinge of nervousness because we had already been pre warned about the sanitation there being extremely basic, with one toilet shared by 200 others! We shall see. I’m sure the ‘superviews’ will compensate for the above!!

We reached another driving milestone on our journey today, we have today completed 10,000 miles of road travelling and how fitting it was achieved on the day we reached the EBC.

I know we have seen some stunning scenery previously but what we saw on this leg was beyond stunning.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

We were also privileged in observing some Tibetan Antelope, our guide said it was really rare to see them.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3


Meeting our pharmacy friends – Dick and Judy again.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

photo 4

One of several security/ speed stops – we will all be glad to see the back of these.

One our way to Everest Base Camp (EBC) we saw some interesting country dwelling people. These particular ones were on the way to the horse races.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 5

Even this elderly lady was off to the races.

photo 4



Travelling with the Yak…..

Click Here to Watch Travelling With Yak


photo 1 (1) photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5


Took lots of shots as we approached Mt Everest.The dominance of the North Face became more and more apparent as we got closer to it.

Click to Watch the Video of the Views


Incredible to believe but we have taken the Land Cruiser to the Highest Point in the world!

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5
Have been very fortunate indeed to get an absolutely clear day again, this does not happen that often, seeing the North Face of Mt Everest in its full glory?

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5


Views of North Face from Base camp.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

The colour blue as you have never seen it.

photo 5

I spent a lot of time on the roof of the LC.


Walking to a view point  – it was bloody exhausting climbing this little mound.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5


Hope you’re not getting bored of this but, as I mentioned before to have a clear day like this was rare!

photo 1 (1) photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 1 (1) photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5


Here comes the sunset scenes…… amazing…..


photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5


The group sharing this magic moment:

photo 1 photo 2

Video clip of excitement at base camp, with the sun setting on Mt Everest.

Click here to Watch the Video of Mt Everest
After further snaps of the sun set on Mt Everest, we settled for dinner – dug into pot noodle purchased previously from the supermarket, set around the tip yee, which was generating good heat and we went to sleep. Yesterday we were in a great bed and got almost 10hrs sleep, tonight !!!! We knew the heat would diminish very quickly.

48th day Thurs 29th May ~ Journey from Shigatse to Tingri in Tibet

Hello everyone, as you all can see, this blog has been posted late, because for the first time in our journey we have had no wi-fi at the evening accommodations since Thursday evening. photo 1 We are slowly edging our way towards Everest base camp.Today was all about the journey – the good and the bad parts….. Altitude sickness slightly better then previous few days, have started to take some medication for it, just cannot risk the bad side effects experienced previously. My patch of driving was quite challenging, with sharp mountain bends and really rough roads. But still great fun driving the LC in this type of terrain.

photo 1 photo 3 photo 2 Certain towns we passed were certainly not developed.


photo 4 photo 5 Both above, just looked very pretty. Not sure what their names are, but I couldnt resist taking snaps.


Country folk going about their business……. photo 5 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 5   photo 6

Friendly, but weary of finding out – how friendly?


Click Here to Watch Video of People Working in Field

photo 4


After this close encounter, we made our way back to the LC.       photo 7

Some scenes along the way: photo 1 (1) photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 3 photo 4

Click Here to Watch the Video of the Road Ahead


Click Here to Watch the Video of the Road under Construction

photo 5

photo 1 Offices in Tingri that we had to go to, in order to get our passes for tomorrow when we head to the Everest Base Camp.


photo 2 Kirit being Kirit – needed oxygen because he was feeling weak in the knees.


photo 3 Now revived – he’s back with his mates.


photo 4 Circular prayer bell at a local monastery in Tingri


photo 5 Dung ,used extensively for heating A local monastery we visited on the way to the hotel…..


photo 2 photo 3 photo 1 (1) photo 4 photo 5 photo 1 photo 2 photo 4

Views from the monastery… photo 3 photo 5


We then checked in our hotel; basically we had a choice of just the one in Tingri – it was freezing outside and actually it was no better inside our hotel room neither. The discussion about dinner was very quickly resolved as some of us were not prepared to eat another Chinese meal and so one thing led to another resulting in Manvir and me taking over the hotel kitchen to prepare a chicken curry!!

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4



photo 5


The chef was brilliant and accommodated us in every way. We had a pretty satisfying meal, one which we may cherish especially in the next few nights, where we will return to very basic accommodation and no proper hot meals.

photo 1 photo 2

Mentioned previously that room was very cold, our solution – we boiled the kettle, adding water continuously to the kettle, kept the lid open, and it did break the chill and warmed up the room a bit!   With no wi-fi at this hotel, we were tired anyway, all went to bed relatively early.


Some general photos. photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

47th day Wed 28th May: Visiting inside Potala Palace in Lhasa then drive to Shigatse in Tibet

We are making the visit to Potala Palace (PP) in a special religious month in the Tibetan calendar. Large numbers of people can be seen circling not only the Potala Palace grounds, which is massive, but also other religious parts of the city, from once, three, five (odd numbers only) times in the day. Quite a tough feat considering, large number who were walking were elderly and distances they will be covering.

Click Here to Watch The Video of Potala Palace Walk

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3
During the religious month Tibetian Buddhists also refrain from eating meat. Meat is normally in their diet because of the altitude above sea level on which Tibet lies, however it is not a preference for them.

The three Buddhas in PP were givers of Wisdom, Power, Energy  and Compassion, all teachings to get rid of the three main poisons and be able to live a better life – the three poisons they suggested are Ignorance, Desire and Hatred.

Today we were actually visiting the inside of PP but first we had to walk
to the top, equivalent to almost a 13 story high building.

Original start to PP dates back to the 7th century, it is the highest building in Lhasa. There is a Red and White part to the Palace, the former is smaller and mainly used by the previous Dalai Lamas for administration, learning and meeting dignitaries. The White part is the monastery/Chapel and is still used today for prayer. In its entire construction, no nails have been used. It is the 5th Dalai Lama who seems to have the pride of position at PP. Also buried here under a massive ‘Stupa’ to his name which has over 3700 kg of gold in its construction.


photo 1

photo 2

A priest in reflective thought.

photo 3

Long drapes made of Yak fur, protects paint from the sometimes fierce direct sunlight.


photo 4

Potala Palace is surrounded by 8 auspicious mountains.

Below is the White Palace – previously used by the Dalai Lama as their admin and meeting place with dignitaries.

photo 1 photo 2


We saw an extremely old method of using natural material and tools to make as a final finished, a solid extremely smooth floor:

Click to Watch Traditional Method of Making Floor

photo 3 photo 4 photo 5
Painstakingly slow but produces a great finish.


On the previous evening, we had decided to visit the Potala Palace to see its magnificence in full lighting. It really was spectacular (4 images from the previous evening are below):

photo 1

photo 2 photo 3 photo 4



Today, walking back to the hotel, we saw something we had not seen before. Unsure whether I should have sent these next two clips, but on balance I decided to do so – although these are very cute, but it highlights child poverty is universal and a child’s innocence should not be taken away at such a young age.

Click Here to Watch a Child Singing

Click Here to Watch a Child Dancing

After this we headed towards Shigatse in Tibet. On the way we experienced rain for the first time. Driving was fun.

Click Here to Watch our Drive in the Rain

Click Here to Watch our Drive in the Rain Video 2

Some photos of our journey to Shigatse – hugging Lhasa River most of the way.


photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

The Jokhang Temple in Lhasa

Visited the Jokhang Monastery today – it is the center around which the city of Lhasa developed. Built in 648 (about 1350 years ago) and  expanded to present scale in the 17th century after several renovations. It is also located on the famous Barkhor Square. For most Tibetans, it is  the most sacred and important temple in Tibet and brought Buddhism into this land.

On the outside, we saw people conducting prayers…

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3


Click Here to Watch Jokhang Temple Video

There is a wonderful history relating to how it’s construction came about:

Jokhang Temple (“House of the Lord”) in Lhasa is the holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded in 647 by King Songtsen Gampo (r.617-49), the first ruler of a unified Tibet, and his two foreign wives who are credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. The king’s first wife, Princess Bhrikuti (married in the 630s), was the sister of the Nepalese king, while his second wife, Princess Wencheng (married 641), was the niece or daughter of the Chinese emperor.


The temple was constructed to house a sacred image of the Buddha, the Jowo Rinpoche, which Queen Wengcheng brought with her from China as a dowry. This statue is still enshrined within the temple and is the holiest object in Tibet.

The temple has been regularly expanded over the years, including extensive reconstruction under the fifth Dalai Lama in the 17th century. Remarkably, however, the core of the temple is still original from the 7th century.

photo 1 (1) photo 2 (1) photo 3 (1) photo 4 (1) photo 5

Some legends……

Various traditions explain the foundation of the temple. In one version, Queen Bhrikuti founded the temple to house the statue, while Queen Wengcheng chose the site based on the principles of geomancy (feng shui). Another legend says that the king threw his ring into the air, asking the spirits to show him where to build the temple. The ring fell into a lake, from which a stupa emerged. The lake was filled in to support Jokhang Temple, whose central shrine was built over the miraculous stupa.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4


Inside the temple…….

Inside the temple- no photos were allowed to be taken .It was a real mystery tour, with numerous statues and images of Buddha and lots of Tibetans patiently waiting in a queue to offer their prayers.


photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 8



Yes I did buy some beads – will in the future be walking the streets of London, meditating and counting.


photo 7


Views from top of Jokhang Temple. Can see Potala Palace in the background.


photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

2nd Day in Lhasa: At the hospital for a routine blood test: 27th May

Went to bed at about 2am last night, finishing off the blog and the e-mails, but just could not get to sleep. Kirit was shuffling around in the other bed and before we knew it we were wide awake and didn’t finally get to sleep till 6am. Talked a bit about the new ‘Pharmacist Work & Lifestyle’ magazine, and the different angles the magazine could be directed towards in the future – sad talking about pharmacy at this time of the morning! We have done pretty well to avoid discussing pharmacy as a topic at best of times. But there is a lot happening in our profession and get drawn in from time to time.


After an hour of sleep, we went to the hospital we visited yesterday and we all had our blood test done, no particular reason, just to see how the process works here.

photo 1 photo 2


They were pretty efficient, you just stood in a line queue, when your turn came you put your arm through a glass hatch, for a nurse to take the blood sample.


We continued on our day tour and found Bollywood in Tibet too!

photo 1 (1)


Old Lhasa.

photo 2

Chinese flags flying prominently.

photo 3

There was a connection with this restaurant and the sixth Dalai Lama – 300 years ago.
The 6th Dalai Lama – Tsangyang Gyatso, is a legendary and controversial figure with a life full of mysteries, and he was only 23 when he died.
However, bearing the label of “The Rebel Dalai Lama”, and as a passionate and young person who was constantly seeking love that was forbidden to him, he has left many beautiful love poems.
Throughout his life, he was probably struggling between “what he was forced to be” and “what he truly wanted to be”.

photo 4 photo 5

A memorable evening in Lhasa

Some pictures from a great evening in Lhasa.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3


And finally, this is the place, the four of us sat down and had a really frank and open conversation about some of our good and bad points encountered during this trip.

Finally photo


The rules of engagement were, with the person making the point the other two had to agree with him. At times some comments were personal, but everyone took it in the spirit of openness. Four guys, all with strong personalities spending almost 7 week together, you are bound to encounter personality clashes, these occurred more in the early stages of our trip, but there has been a distinct mellowing to the present. In a way everyone had made their own personal adjustments to accommodate the environment we face ourselves in i.e.  daily travelling couped up in a car for eight to nine hours a day, accommodation and food issues, at times cultural issues and other small matters, have a cumulative effect. The comments were not just about the trip, they were also about how we could improve our lives when we get back to the comforts of our own homes.


Some overall comments:

Not a good listener.

Makes the assumption without hearing the full story.

Abrupt and can cut someone off.

Does not stick with the point in question, but tends to deviate to what he really wants to talk about.

Have to find more time for yourself.

Should try to work more smarter.


Some good points mentioned:


Very loyal.

Hard worker.

Great person and deserves better.

Would trust him implicitly.


The good thing about the conversation, we all took the comments on board and will try to make improvements, where necessary during the remainder of the trip and beyond, when we reach home.


It was a mature conversation, no sabre rattling or otherwise and we all came away as if we all have gained something from this open conversation.

A day in Lhasa: 26th May

Spent a relaxing day in Lhasa, Tibet walking around town.

Lots of photos here.


Briefly about Lhasa:

Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, sits at an altitude of 3,490 metres. It is one of the highest cities in the world. The city contains many culturally significant Tibetan Buddhist sites such as the Potala Palace, which we saw from the outside today and will be seeing from the inside in a couple of days – have to manage about 300 steps to get to the top, I’m sure it’s going to be a struggle at this altitude.

Click Here to Watch Potala Palace Video


photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Click Here to Watch Chairman Mao Video – Smiling and Sad


photo 5 photo 7 photo 8 photo 9 photo 10 photo 1

By the way all of us slept well yesterday evening, a great relief to all of us.


Smiles all around after a good night sleep!!

photo 2 photo 1 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

Lhasa is nicknamed the ‘City of Sunlight’ because of its frequent sunset against a dark blue sky.

photo 2 photo 3



Photo shoot of a photo shoot.

photo 1



And look what we found…………. he was happy for us to take pictures with him…….

photo 4 photo 5


Here is our ride on the streets….. we both tried it for ourselves…….

Click Here to Watch Our Ride in Lhasa

photo 6 photo 7

Click Here to Watch the Market in Lhasa

Click Here to Watch Video of a man praying


Streets and people of Lhasa.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

Captured the first street dance in the city………..

Click Here to Watch Street Dancing Video


We just can’t resist visiting a local pharmacy in Lhasa. Great staff – all smiling and all waiting for us to take lots of photos.

photo 1 photo 2

The first selfy in a pharmacy in Lhasa.

photo 3

Purchased some great quality saffron – hoping I don’t get asked how much it cost.

photo 4

Click Here to Watch Accurate Weighing of Saffron

And finally paying for it…..



photo 5


Towns Along the Road to Lhasa

On route we passed a couple of towns, these were country towns, somehow supporting their own economies and looked pretty run down.

Click Here to Watch Video of Towns We Passed

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

The facial features of Tibetan men resembled that of American Indians and again whatever interaction we had with them, it was always light hearted and friendly. We seemed to have lost the riot gear, normally quite visible in hotels and petrol stations in the earlier.

Filling petrol in Tibet is now a real process too, with us having to show all our car reg documents and have it registered every time.