Giant on the move
After another round of negotiations with the organisers the next morning, we reached an agreement that we would get an extra day to acclimatize before we reached base camp.
That didn’t, of course, mean we would make the short journey to the next stop at Lhartse in short order and have the rest of the day to relax.
The journey was extended with a trip to a hot spring.
There, I was encouraged to consult a purveyor of traditional Tibetan medicine, who based his prognosis on feeling the pulse on both wrists.
After his first call went a bit wide of the mark (Had a motorcycle hit me 10 days ago? Er, no), he hurriedly decided I was in excellent health and had no need of his herbs.
At last, 11 of us did get onto a plane to Lhasa last Friday. It was soon clear that while the Tibetan authorities were prepared to let us in, this was by no means going to be a free-ranging reporting assignment.
The hotel ‘near Lhasa airport’ that we had been promised turned out to be 300 kilometres away in Shigatse (3,900m).