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September 13th - October 4th: 'The Friendship Trail', Lhasa, Tibet to Kathmandu, Nepal

It was late afternoon; the Tibetan village was coated in a golden light. Breaking off for supplies, we eyed the selection of instant noodles, yak cheese and Chinese biscuits that were long past their sell by date. Children gathered around our pannier laden bicycles, ringing horns and clambering onto the saddles. Circling us, they pulled handfuls of carefully wrapped fossils from their pockets, and set about their sales pitch relentlessly. We raced out of the village, yet more heavily laden.

By now the sun had dipped behind the peaks of the Himalayas and a shadow was cast across the vast Tingri plain. At such high altitude, the temperature drops quickly and it was time to begin our nightly ritual: the search for a campsite. Before long we were cocooned in sleeping bags,sipping on warm sweet tea, our 'Voyager' pitched amongst ancient ruins on a hilltop. The crumbling walls that had stood for so long would protect us from the icy wind and hide us from the children....we hoped. Rolling up the fly sheet, satellites glided across the cloudless night sky, as we listened to the silence of Tibet and drifted off to sleep.

Morning came with a sudden burst of sound. We had been discovered! Inquisitive runny-nosed faces peered in for a better view of our nomadic home. It was time to move on, and the previously merchant children became equally eager helpers, carrying our bags down the hill. With farewell waves and smiles we peddled on once more, the young Tibetans in happy pursuit. Our destination lay beyond the prayer flags and the distant plateaux. Nepal and the road home.



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