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The Endless Sky Trip -- Cycling the Himalaya cycling in western Tibet

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Leaving Kathmandu...
4/12/98

For the last 3 weeks I have been living with a Tibetan family in a suburb of Kathmandu called Boudha. In 1959 when a 100,000+ Tibetans followed the Dalai Lama out of Tibet to India and Nepal, a large number of them came to live in the Boudha area of Nepal. The neighborhood is centered around a large stupa, that Buddhist pilgrims from around the world come to see. The family that I lived with consisted of dad, mom, Drolma the maid and two young boys, Tenzin and Karma. Since everyone in the house spoke Tibetan most of the time, it provided me with a good opportunity to practice my Tibetan, and learn a practical kind of language. Everyday I heard things like, "No! don't do that!", "that was a really stinky fart" and lots of other things that 10 year boys would say. But I have a feeling that this kind of thing will not be so helpful if I want to talk to a high Tibetan Lama.

In order to get a longer Chinese visa, the normal visa is only for 1 month, it was necessary to send my passport back to the USA. Once the visa was obtained, my passport was sent back to here via Fed-Ex. I sat in a small communications shop next the stupa, and tracked my passport via the Fed-Ex web page. Since I did not have an address to ship the package to here in Kathmandu, I just had it sent to the Fed-Ex office. Outside of P.O. Boxes there are not really any addresses here in Kathmandu. There mostly read something like, Everest Communications, Main Road (close to the stupa), Boudha, Kathmandu. The concept of individual building numbers is none existent, along with free public mail delivery. So, I watched the small package go, Palo Alto, San Fran, Bombay, then Kathmandu. Now, if could just have someone send some Ben and Jerry's ice cream, I would be set.

In just a couple hours, I will board a flight that will take me to New Delhi, India, then hopefully on to Lahore, Pakistan and finally Islamabad, Pakistan. On Sunday John and Liyang should show up with all 3 bikes, we will quickly find a bus to make the 12 hour journey Northward to Gilget, at which point the cycle trip begins.

-ray
 


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