May 12, 2006

Yak Yak Yak

So right now I'm sitting in Lhasa, trying to aclimatize to the altitude. I don't remember how high we are, but I'm thinking it's higher than anything in the continental United States. But, we are going to go higher in the next few days, so I hope I'll be alright. Some students are getting sick from it, but right now, it's nothing major. Although, it can worsen. The altitude is my biggest problem currently. I believe we are at 13,000 ft, and climbing to about 17,000 ft at Everest.

I just got back strolling around on the streets in Lhasa and saw a lot of local flavor. A truck was loading yak carcases on a truck by hand - pretty disgusting. One fell of the truck, and he through it back on. And I had yak for dinner, so... I hope its alright.

Tomorrow we are visiting the local sites, and then the day after I believe we are heading out on a convoy of jeeps heading toward Everest. I really don't know what that is going to be like. It will be rough getting there, and rough when we are there. The hostel we are staying at doesn't have running water, eletricity, or running water. It should be interesting. And we are only allowed to bring a large backpack on this excursion (not my regular suitcase). And of course, it's going to be friggen cold. Below freezing temperatures is common even in May. I can already see snow on the mountain tops, so it'll probably get a lot worse. So, we'll see how it goes.

Today we visited the Potala Palace here in Lhasa. It's a huuuuuuge palace, built for the dhali llama. But now he's in exile, so he's not there anymore. The palace has about 1,000 rooms, and built on top of a mountain. Quite cool. I believe there is a picture of us on the Duquesne blog.

It seems like every dish here has some sort of Yak in it. I've given up looking for other dishes. Steamed Yak, spicy Yak, fried Yak, Yak butter... bleh. It's just too much Yak. It doesn't taste so bad... but it's YAK. It's just weird saying that.

Afterwards we hit the Backor market (I think I spelled that wrong) where we got a lot of shopping done, Tibetian style. Quite fun. I enjoyed spening time at the market.

So bright and early tomorrow we are on our way toward the city of Shigatze and Everest base camp. Wish me luck, because I'll be in a Jeep for 7 hours tomorrow. Not fun.


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