The Road to Everest

Day 18: Saturday 13 May 2006
May 15, 2006,

Day 18: Saturday 13 May 2006
New Tingri – Lhasa

Today we woke up to snow and ice, a complete contrast to the day before. I can’t believe how lucky we were with the weather yesterday – clear blue skies and warm bright sun.

We set off at around 7.00am back along the Friendship Highway climbing over the Tropu-La pass (4,540m) which was covered in snow. This made progress quite slow as ruts and gullies were difficult to identify. Along the way we stumbled across lorries which had become bogged down in the mud but luckily none of our crews experienced any problems on the road today. The snow was indeed welcomed by many as it eradicated all the uncomfortable dust we had experienced a couple of days before.

Medic Mike at Tropu-La Pass, 4,540m

At Lhatse we continued along the highway as before traversing the streams, potholes and rough sections on the way back from Shigatse for today’s lunch halt at a superb local restaurant.

From lunch we took the main highway to Lhasa passing the site of the old ferry before joining the new road to Lhasa which crossed and recrossed the Yar Lung (Brahmaputra) river. This road was opened in August 2005 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the creation of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

En route we passed the splendid new bridge which was built to access Lhasa Airport.

Arriving in Lhasa we drove along the wide main street, part of the Tibet – Sichuan highway, to reach the Lhasa Hotel where we were greeted wit a welcome dance complete with colourful dragon and yaks. This is to be our stay for the next two nights.

Dancing yak welcome, Lhasa

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Day 30: Thursday 25 May 2006
Zhaoqing – Splendid China, Shenzhen

On this our final day of the Great Tour of China 2006, we made a short journey mainly on expressway from Zhaoqing to the Splendid China Cultural Park in Shenzhen for the ceremonial finish.

May 26, 2006
Day 29: Wednesday 24 May 2006
Guilin - Zhaoqing

We left Gulin on smooth fast roads with wonderful views of the ‘eggbox’ type hills. These are hills of limestone which have eroded into shape over centuries covered in native vegetation and resembling very large teeth.

May 25, 2006
Day 28: Tuesday 23 May 2006
Kaili - Guilin

The agenda today was another long driving day to Guilin along a mixture of road surfaces: smooth main roads, bumpy secondary roads and some roads still under construction.

May 24, 2006
Day 27: Monday 22 May 2006
Huangguoshu Falls - Kaili

Before negotiating another day on the road, everyone spent a couple of hours today visiting China’s most scenic falls at Huangguoshu. Set against lush, local vegetation, the falls make up in beauty for what they lack in size.

May 23, 2006
Day 26: Sunday 21 May 2006
Kunming – Huangguoshu Falls

This morning we took the northern road from Kunming on a mix of main highway, dual carriageway and back roads. The first town we passed through was Quiyang en route to Honggu, a large town with coal mining and steel production as it’s main industries.

May 23, 2006