Lucky made it! I guess we can take credit for 16,000 ft. since we’re all on the same team.
We’ve been in the high meadows of the Tibetan Plateau, most days over 15,000 feet for hours; we have found the back garden gate of Shangri-la. Look for a longer post soon with lots of pictures.
Poor Bob had to pedal by himself halfway to Sangdui because I was too busy kicking myself up the mountain. Can anyone tell me why one remembers something left behind only after you’re well beyond going back to retrieve it? My security blanket is gone, and it’s all my fault.
At the breakfast table, in the roadhouse where we spent the night, I left my packet of maps, phrases and our chopsticks. It was an envelope I clutched tightly anytime we were off the bike. Now, it was 30 kilometers back and 1000 feet down. We weren’t going back for it. So we’re without a good map until at least Shangri-la (Note: Bob was smart enough to photograph the road atlas pages, so we do have a backup). The phrases? I’ve mostly got down the basics enough to get us a room or a meal without my cheat sheets. And the chopsticks? Well, this is China.
There will be more mountains to come, and some will probably seem harder than this one. Zippy is making strange noises from the drive-train, and we fear we have put him under too much strain this time.
We are sometimes tired, but feeling stronger every day. We’ve reached that magical three-week point in a long challenging bicycle tour, when we are in the zone, when we feel pretty much ready for anything.
The next post is one you won’t want to miss: we now know we have entered the high back garden gate of Shangri-la. The success was hard won, but all the more rewarding for the suffering.
It will be posted soon with lots of photos.