Finally we are all here (well almost all, Jed arrives on 4th) at Lhasa on the threshold of our dream becoming a reality. Reaching here was, thousand of miles away from our homes spread across Switzerland, New Zealand, Germany, India and U.S.A. Arriving at this point has been a an odyssey of thousands and thousands of emails, countless long distance phone calls and skype conversations across the continents, dozens of flights… some connecting some not and at times permits that ensure passage, arriving well after the flight has departed. But most of us are now behind us.
What is before us is Lhasa, and it is not the sepia image of an ancient culture frozen in time that most of us carry in our mind. It is a city of neon signs, broad roads, modern people, swanky brands, big cars and the majestic Potala palace overlooking all that from its perch on the hilltop. Tucked in-between all this are the old temples and monasteries where the faithful carry on their religious practices, just like their forefathers have must have done for generations.
Tomorrow we buy food & supplies, Andy takes a final look at the equipment and safety gear and Apal carries on, among other things, his unending task of tying loose ends and dealing with surprises that grow in the preparations of expeditions like mushrooms. Our boats and engines finally arrive tomorrow and we kick-off on 5th.