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7 August 2003, Nyalam - Lhatse, 300 kilometers.
next day was tough. Our bikers had to cover about 300 kilometers,
crossing two passes of more than 5,000 meters.
of our group were suffering headache and loss of energy
this morning, though all were excited to be entering the
high Himalayas. On the first pass at 5150 meters, we took
a short break and took pictures of the Himalayas to the
mechanic's bike had some problems so we loaded it into the
truck and continued driving. The other bikes faced some
minor mechanical problems which our skilled mechanic soon
a lunch at Old Tingri (4400m). Annie began having symptoms
of altidude sickness, so we administered some oxygen and
a headache relief pill.
to the second pass at 5200 meters. Henning's bike was loosing
power, but he managed the rest of the ride downhill to Lhatze
at 3900 meters. Annie got a very bad headache behind her
left eye and said it was a typical migraine. Since the truck
and the Land Cruiser were behind us, she could not get her
medicine or more oxygen.
as the truck and Land Cruiser arrived at Lhatse Hotel, I
took the Gamow bag, which is an inflatable hyperbaric chamber,
out of our truck and hurrily put Annie inside. She started
feeling better soon and in two hours she was completely
out of danger. We all were relieved.
dined at the hotel's restaurant. Our long ride that day,
and the concern about Annie, left everyone tired, so the
team decided to skip a planned excursion to the Shakya Monastery
the next morning. Instead, we headed directly 150 km to
August 2003, Lhatse - Shigatse, 150 kilometers
gravel road was ok but extremely dusty. We crossed a 4570
meter pass, but but nobody had any altitude problems. The
bikes were running well, though Ajs's and Annie's bikes
needed chains tightened enroute. About that time we met
a couple from Germany coming up from Lhasa on mountain bikes.
we talked to them and some of our team members took photographs
chain was again jumping off the sprocket. Our mechanic had
to overtighten the chain to make it stay on to Shigatse.
at 4000 meters, is a big town with a huge monastery. We
checked in to a nice hotel with private bath and TV. Our
group was able to shower for the first time in 3 days.
Tibetan guide, Mr. Putsu, took us for a delicious dinner
at Manasarovar Restaurant. Then we met Josef Pichler, a
640 KTM motor bike rider. Henning, Ajs and I had dinner
with Pichler in Kathmandu and had planned this meeting with
him in Shigatse.
9 August 2003, Shigatse - Gyantse, 90 kilometers
the ride today to Gyantse was only 90 kilometers, we started
at 1 p.m. Taking advantage of the late start, our bikes
were repaired and cleaned well.
lunch, Henning and Annie briefed our mechanic about regular
maintenance checks which needed to be performed on our bikes
to keep them running on a daily basis. These checks included
the air filters, chain tension, and all bolts and fasteners.
For example, a subframe had come unbolted from one of the
bikes a few days earlier. Henning and Annie drew up a checklist
for the mechanic, which I translated into Nepalese.
hotel in Gyantse at 3950 meters was nice and included a
resturant with continental menu, so we ordered varieties
of food and had our lunch there.Our
group then took a "tourist" tour, visiting the
Kumbum Monastery built in 1418. This circular monastery
is one of the most famous monasteries in Tibet and contains
countless Buddha statues.We
all had dinner at our hotel's restaurant that evening. Our
bikers were concerned about the 280 kilometers we had to
cover the next day, so the team decided to have breakfast
at 7 a.m. and to pack sack lunches from the hotel kitchen.
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