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China: A near catastrophe averted

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For a while yesterday evening we were afraid that our whole bike trip to Lhasa was coming to a sudden end. The bolt on Jardar’s rear hub has broken in two. This is a solid steel bolt that was made especially to pull the Bob-cart. We didn’t have a reserve, as none of us thought it would ever break off. But that’s happened.

Today Eric and Jardar are sitting in the little town of Dulan about 350 km from Golmud. We have found a local mechanic with a lathe, who is cutting us two new bolts. As we’re writing this, the second bolt is being made. We’ve already tried the first one, and it fits perfectly.

For the past 7 days we’ve been biking at an altitude of from 3000 to 3500 metres. None of us has experienced any symptoms of altitude sickness. On the way from Xining we crossed 3 passes at 3540 m, 3817 m and 3672 m respectively. None of them gave us any problems, except for a little shortness of breath.

At any rate, this is just a simple mail-report with no pictures, as this Internet Café doesn’t take USB-discs.

Most of us, especially Jardar and Eric, are struggling with mosquito bites, which we got while we were at China’s largest salt water lake a few days ago. The weather has been fantastic, with lots of sun, little wind, and 25-30 degrees C in the shade.

We’re leaving now for Golmud and expect to be there in 3 days. Lyngve and Sigbjørn are waiting for us aabout 750 km to the west on the way towards Golmud. We expect that we’ll need about 25 days maximum to get to Lhasa from here. Since we will be avoiding big cities and not stopping at hotels, there won’t be any communication from us during this time. Our satellite phone is no longer working either. So we’ll be out of touch with the rest of the world.

Golmud lies about 2800 m above sea level. From Golmud we’ll head straight up into the mountain wilds. Most of the road between Golmud and Lhasa lies at an altitude above 4500 m, including the tallest pass of our trip, Tangula Pass, at 5316 m.

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Posted by Lyngve Skrede on Tuesday, June 14, 2005. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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