Our Pilgrimage Begins!!!
I can’t believe my dream of doing the Kailash kora is going to become a reality. We finally got the permits! After all the paperwork in Xining and Lhasa, the stress of arranging transportation, and the challenge of finding people to split costs, everything seems to have miraculously fallen into place.
Dimitri and Irina showed up with a huge apple pie, which they had specially ordered to celebrate our departure. Can you believe that? An apple pie in Lhasa!!! We are so lucky to have found such cool people to go with.
In addition to a driver, the Chinese government has just recently started requiring that an official guide accompany travelers outside of Lhasa. We were warned that this required person is often just dead weight, a body being paid to sit and take up extra space in the car. Luckily, our guide Losang is Tibetan, not Han Chinese, and he seems to be very friendly and extremely helpful. I think we really lucked out with Losang.
On top of that, our driver Pema drives incredibly well! Honestly, I doubt there is a better driver in all of China. Thomas and I are both ecstatic about our luck with Pema. Finding a safe driver in China is like finding a huge lake in the middle of the Sahara.
So, here goes – 17 days in western Tibet including Mt. Kailash and the Guge Kingdom, two of the remotest destinations on the planet!