Cycling the Tibetan Plateau, Yushu to Golmud, May 2017
the final part,
but where to start?
11-05-2017, as we just left the city of Yushu behind us.
I COULD write about those extremely rare and absolutely charming little encounters we had with people along our way. With these two little sisters being without a question the cutest of ALL.
12-05-2017, on the 308th provincial road, somewhere passed Longbaozhen
I COULD write about how we would be eating mountains of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Day after day. Just to get us over those ginormous passes on our way.
13-05-2017, somewhere on a farm field next to a river, on our way to Niang Zhidike
I COULD write about the extreme cold we had to face. And I could tell you about the day that Luke joined me for breakfast in my tent for the very first time. And although we are smiling in this picture, the story is quite the opposite. As Luke happened to wake up with a dead dog in front of his tent. A dog that had tried to find a shelter for the night, but still wasn’t able to make it through the night. I cannot describe the intense sadness we both felt when we woke up realizing that this dog had frozen to death.
14-05-2017, on top of the Da Qin Long Pas on our way to Chumar Leb.
I COULD write about all those times that we ended up cycling into the sunset, into the dust of the night, just because our Chinese visa was slowly running out.
15-05-2017, on our way to Yengxiang
I could write about the intense challenges by mother nature we had to tackle on our way. Besides the cold, there were massive headwinds and sandstorms, sometimes for the whole day.
16-05-2017, cycling on top of the world.
I could write about this unique feeling of being so close to nature. To be in a surrounding where you will find more animals passing you then people or cars, or whatever it is that you are used to be surrounded with in what we call civilization. Back to nature. As that’s simply all there is. And it’s hard to describe in words what the impact and the beauty is, to be cycling in a surrounding like this.
17-05-2017, the final stretch towards the final peak, on our way to Golmud
I could write how much we were longing for the finish, and how hard we were focusing on pushing through, day by day.
17-05-2017, on top of the final peak, on our way to Golmud
And then just as you are about to lose your mind….
…. you find yourself on your way down.
Surrounded by heavy traffic you start your 2500 meter downhill.
Back to civilization.
And then there’s this moment that you reach the finish.
You finally make it to that city, that once looked so far out of reach.
So many days you had been looking forward to this.
You find yourself surrounded by food and tons of people,
and all that wasn’t there,
throughout this upper remote stretch of the Tibetan Plateau,
so high up in the air.
18-05-2017, at the Butter Hostel in Golmud
You find yourself in Golmud.
In a cosy little hostel, where the owner turns out to be a friendly Mongolian fellow,
who invites you for a massive meal and serves you a shot of alcohol.
You will raise your glass to cheers on the fulfillment of this little mission,
and it’s exactly then when you will realize what you left behind,
and you will miss it from the moment that you are out.
You feel the intense loss and the bitter melancholy,
of this magical world that you left behind.
It’s the irony of the ride.
When the challenges of Mother Nature are no longer there to be felt and overcome.
It’s the beauty of this stretch