I wake up after my second night on the train and the scenery has changed a bit from the previous morning. There now areas of white on the ground and in the distance as the signs of winter linger around even into late April.
Somewhere earlier this morning we were at the highest point on our journey about 15,000 feet above sea level (5072m). Surprisingly, I have felt no noticeable affect from the change in altitude and have taken no medication for altitude sickness.
My plan is to stay hydrated, eat well and avoid doing jumping jacks or my regular 1,000 push-ups a day. So far, it seems to be working.
The only disappointment on the train has been going to the bathroom after fellow passengers that seem to lack some common public decency.
The train staff has done a good job keeping the train clean and the environment comfortable. I was surprised to discover that regular toilet paper was not available after the first day but I came prepared thanks to Wal-Mart in Beijing.
About three hours from Lhasa we make a stop and a good majority of passengers leave the train. Our stop is long enough to give us an opportunity to get off the train for a few minutes. It is nice to step outside and breathe the crisp cool air at about 12,000 feet.
One more non-verbal all aboard call and we begin the final leg of our 44 hour journey. The scenery is still amazing as we pass fields with grazing yaks and a few small towns become more common with snow capped mountains in the background.
For me, the trip has not been a bad one and the time has passed well enough.
I am sure my travel companions had a lot to do with it. Thanks, Bill, Kathy, Craig and Marciso.