Client review – Lhasa to Kathmandu Ride – by Exodus Client Andrew Coker
“Is that Everest”, I asked Kaji, our Nepalese guide, pointing towards a distant peak.
“No” he smirked dismissively
“That’s just a little one.”
And we got back on our mountain bikes. He sped off with effortless ease. Myself, with a wheeze, a cough and rather unsteadily. We were hoping to reach our goal by nightfall, Rongbuk Monastery at the Tibetan base camp of Mount Everest.
We had already cycled hundreds of kilometres across the Tibetan Plateau from Lhasa and the accumulative effect of altitude and long strenuous days in the saddle was taking its toll on me.
At times, when the dirt road seemed to go up forever, I wondered why I put myself through such hardship? But then the previous afternoon, having gone for a walk around the small Tibetan village of Tashi Tzong I had met a group of a dozen farm hands in a field. They were taking a break from their work and had beckoned me over. With nothing in common except curiosity about each other, I had sat in the field with them enjoying yak tea.
We left the village that morning in cold drizzling rain that soon penetrated my waterproofs and seeped into my bones. Every part of me was suffering. My legs and knees had gone numb and felt like they belonged to someone else. Someone who didn’t want to put them through any more pain.
Often I thought we had reached the top of the pass, only to discover the road took another hairpin bend and ascended further. But this time it was different. I turned a corner, the road went through a valley of moon-like mountains and Everest appeared perfectly framed at the end. No mistaking it this time and making all the effort to get there worth it.
Andrew travelled on Exodus’ Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling trip.