Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Five: August 29th, 2009

2009 Shishapangma Expedition

Day Five: Kathmandu-Nyalam via Kodari/Zhangmu

Today, we woke up at 4:30am, packed up our things and headed down to the lobby where we waited for Parajuli to pick us up and take us to the office. We loaded our gear into a bus, said our goodbyes to Parajuli and Tzering, and started toward Kodari (the city on the Nepal side of the Nepal/Tibet border). Once here, we had breakfast/lunch, filled out our departure cards for Nepal and our entry forms for China, then headed on foot to the border. We crossed the “friendship bridge” and entered the brand new Customs and Quarantine complex and started the long process of being admitted to Tibet. We met our Liaison officer from CTMA (China-Tibet Mountaineering Association) and another CTMA official in charge of operations in Zhangmu. I handed the original group visa papers over to him and we entered immigration. Before we reached the desk where the passports were checked, they checked our bags in an X-ray machine, then tediously checked the contents by hand (this included them checking every page of every book/magazine/notebook to ensure none of us had any photos of the Dalai Lama). After this, we proceeded to the “health desk” where they took our temperature and checked our form to ensure that we had no symptoms of H1N1 or H5N1 virus. We finally reached the passport desk where a masked lady greeted us politely and checked our documents. FINALLY we were through immigration and thankfully all our bags arrived safely through as well. We were quite worried about our food getting confiscated. We walked up the hill to where the CTMA jeep was waiting and greeted our driver (who would be taking us to Shishapangma Chinese Base Camp over the next few days). We drove for around five minutes to the old border station, where we had to yet again show our documents to officials at the “Frontier Police Station”. He checked these carefully and allowed us to pass. The Zhangmu CTMA official was here to greet us and told us that the road was still under construction and would be closed during the day. He recommended that we proceed directly to Nyalam rather than spend the night in Zhangmu as we had planned. The road was scheduled to open at 6:00pm (Chinese Time) so we would have to wait for a few hours. We headed to the Snow Land Hotel and had a late lunch and some Lhasa beers, exchanged our money to Chinese Yuan, and headed up to the police station guarding the entrance to the road, where we waited over an hour for the road to open. When it did, we were expecting a VERY bumpy ride on a horrible road, but about 10 minutes into the journey, the way turned into a very nice sealed, paved, painted road which resembled one you might expect to see in the US or Europe. We were all quite impressed. An hour later we arrived to Nyalam, quite exhausted. We settled into the Snow Land Hotel then headed across the street for dinner. Our gear jeep arrived while we were eating and Gopal (our cook) joined us for dinner. We decided to sleep in so scheduled breakfast for 10am (Chinese Time so 7:45am Nepal time) and bid everyone goodnight.


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