Going for Etappe 6, Through Tibet?

I’ve stayed a whole week in Kathmandu now. After my  India tour I gathered up so many tasks I have to take care of, that I’ve been spending my whole time sorting them out.

My first task was to decide where to go after Kathmandu. The first flight experience with a bicycle wasn’t that great, so I wanted to go to China over land. Everybody was saying how difficult it would be to cross Tibet from Nepal, but this was the fastest procedure I did here. Went to see one travel agency, spent there 30min, and booked a 10 day  tour over Tibet for approx.440e. I will write more about this trip on my next blog post.

My other concern was my bicycle. It has nearly 10 000km behind her (yes, it’s  she), and some of the parts are worn out. My tubes needed to be exchanged, my tires are (rear one mostly) fighting their last fight. The Rohloff rear sprocket is waiting to be flipped around, but for that I need a special tool. I also changed (for the first time) the oil inside that Rohloff speed hub. For this I checked some videos on internet,  but usually with my troubles I turn to my German friend. He is also the one who is sending me the essential Rohloff-bike parts to China.

Maybe the unique spare parts are the biggest minus of Rohloff, because they are impossible to get from most of the places. Even the rear wheel spokes I couldn’t find in Kathmandu. Dutch couple I met here in Nepal (and in Iran before that) were traveling with extra Rohloff parts from the beginning (including rear and front sprockets).

The next etappe is still unknown, because I don’t know what will be the weather in mainland China. If it’s too cold, I may take other transportation as close to Hong Kong as it is necessary. Maybe Hong Kong won’t be even my destination in Asia, but perhaps I’ll head south to Bangkok. Everything depends on flights to Australia/South America, and how expensive they’ll be.

I must say, that this hassle with flights, visas and bike components is very frustrating. Not only it has eaten all my time in Kathmandu, but also my bank account. I must hope that I won’t face any other shipments on my tour, and that rest of the countries will be visa friendly.

My health condition seems to be good, my back and right knee worked in the last climb very well. I haven’t got any bad diarrhea or food poisoning, no broken bones or burned skin.

So I think I should be satisfied with the things as they are, forget the finance issues, and enjoy the ride over the highest mountain range in the World.

ps. Ovi blog post about Nepal  is out, so check that out!

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3 Comments

  1. Posted December 10, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    hi lukas,
    i envy your trip to tibet which i didn’t succeed to incorporate into my itinerary for next year yet. but i hope to benefit from your experience and thus add this ‘detour’ to my plans as well. from lhasa you will proceed to chengdu where hopefully the rohloff tool and spares will be waiting for you (there underway).
    why don’t you get from chengdu south direction laos and farther on to thailand and catch a flight to sydney there? distance chengdu-bangkok = 3.150 km ≈ 40 days. by doing this (it’ll be my itinerary in almost exactly 12 months from now) you will quickly approach the warm, in this season not hot!, and also dry climate of south-east asia. present temperatures are:
    – chengdu 14°c – mixed
    – vientiane 25°c – sunny
    – bangkok 26°c – sunny
    what do you think?
    anyway, good luck!
    regards,
    herbert

  2. Posted December 10, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    just to add:
    – visa for laos is easy to get at the china/laos border for ≈ € 25.
    – when immigrating into thailand on land you get a 15 days travel permit for free (no visa!) which will easily do for the 600 km stretch from vientiane-bangkok + sightseeing.
    – correction: tools/spareparts – they’re underway 😉
    herbert

  3. Kevin
    Posted December 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hey Lukas

    Good luck on the next leg and a very merry Xmas!

    Kevin

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