Lhasa at Last!

Maureen, Ann and Pat happy to be in Lhasa!At 18:45 on 2003-10-16 the four English vans and two French vans finally arrived in Lhasa, much to our relief.

Our first stop was at Xie He garage (N29.64854 E91.09351 Phone (0891)6819011) where we were reunited with the third French van (Roger's) that had arrived on the back of a Chinese truck a few days earlier.

Our second stop was the rear parking lot of the Tibet Pearl Star Garden Hotel (N29.66143 E91.09881, Phone (86-891) 6816666) where we are camped for 30 Yuan per van per night.

Roger's van is still immobile waiting for parts that had been sent from France, but that had ended up in Beijing rather than Lhasa. Both Kon-Tiki and Serge's van immediately returned to the garage for urgent work. Kon-Tiki to repair his alternator (for the last few days Kon-Tiki had been without lights and heating) and Serge to stop his oil leak.

Before we can leave Lhasa for Nepal we need to sort out our vehicle paperwork ("road tax", and temporary driving licences) which have all expired, we also need to get Nepal visas.

En-route to Lhasa on the N317 we were "detained" by the police in Nagqu for traveling without authorization (in reality we had authorization but our papers were in Lhasa) and for non-payment of Kon-Tiki's garage bill in Sog Xian. In the end we were fined a total of 2,700 Yuan ($340USA) and told to get out of town immediately!

Everybody had told us that the road from Nagqu to Lhasa was tarmac, and much of it is, but there were still 30km stretches of very poor dirt road.

The Portala Palace.Lhasa itself is stunning, not the large sprawling Chinese town but the smaller Tibetan part. Both the Portala Palace and Jokhang Temple are breath taking.

Some of us have made the Dunya Restaurant and Bar at 100 Beijing Dong Lu (next to the Yak Hotel) our base for exploring the town. Their Yak-Burgers are recommended.

We hope to leave Lhasa for Nepal on 2002-10-21?

Stephen Stewart.

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