Monday, May 13, 2013

China, Train To Lhasa Day One


For a regular train traveler there is probably not too much to get excited about when your future holds 44 hours of swaying back and forth in the same direction. However, for a non-regular train traveler headed to one of the more restrictive and unique places to visit on the planet, for now, it is 44 hours of rocking and rolling fun.


CH TT D1 001 Our departure from Beijing is in the evening so after settling in and exploring a few cars of the train it is pretty much “Bedtime for Bonzo”.






SAM_0056 My upper berth bed which is a called a soft sleeper is somewhat firm and my pillows which are like large beanie bags are less than comfortable. Fortunate for me, I have the gift of a horse to be able to sleep standing up.



About twelve hours into the journey we make a stop and I wake up to views of China that I have never seen before, a mostly barren landscape under clear morning blue skies.




CH TTrain D1 007Landscape From The Train  



Occasionally some green and other blues are added to the scenery as we past what appears to be grazing land along with some high altitude lakes and river streams. The views remind me of crossing some parts outside of Chandler, Arizona minus the cactus.

Posted on the walls in different cars is our itinerary to Lhasa showing points of interest along with the time and altitude at various spot along our almost two day journey.



CH TTrain D1 CAN 009 At about 8 in the morning, we will be at the highest point of our trip 5072m, well over 15,000 feet.

There are oxygen outlets in our room should we need it.





Although we have provisions for the trip, Kathy, Bill and I decide to venture to the dining car for an early evening supper. We order up thin sliced green peppers that can be easily mistaken for green beans, pieces of pork with lots of grilled onions and rice along with a beer that surprises us when it is served.




CH TTrain D1 009



On a Chinese train bound for Tibet we are drinking “GI Beer” made by PBR in memory of the US Army. I never would have imagined I would be drinking a beer in honor of a branch of the US military in of all places, China.

I hope the Chinese always feel this way about us because in my opinion it is difficult to be angry with someone that you are willing to share a cold brew with.



CH TTrain D1 CAN 014 Night falls with us still rocking and rolling a long about 60 miles an hour.

As I look out at a rising full moon, I think this is still fun and I am one lucky traveler.






No comments: