After a recent nights sleep, without the need for an oxygen pillow at all, we were woken at about 7.15. We got up slowly as the Trent was cold and had a like warm coffee. Poking y my head outside, I could see that the wind had dropped and the sky was cloud free giving an amazing view of Chomolungma.
Some of the group wanted to return to base camp and do we agreed to go along as well and to pay for the bus service there and back. I am glad we did because whilst the temperature was -5C, the clear skies allowed from some fantastic views of the mountain and, of course, plenty of pictures.
We got back to the tent at 9.30 and immediately boarded the bus for the next stage in our journey. We stopped just up the road to visit Rhongpu monastery, the highest monastery in the world at 5150m. It is home to 30 monks and nuns and was a very friendly place with just a small assembly hall where we were allowed to take pictures. Then it was back on the bus for three 4 hour return trip to the main road!
The road was every bit as bumpy as in the way up and we were ready to stop by the time we arrived back at old Tingri. Here we met up with our your leader and our recovered fellow traveller and had done lunch.
We rejoined the Friendship Highway to begin the climb to our last mountain pass off the trip at 5153m. Here we had a great view of part of the Himalaya range including another mountain which at over 8012m is the 14th highest in the world.
From here we carried on down the road and in 80km dropped almost 3000m to Zhang mu, a town perched on the the a valley. This was to be out base for the last evening with our driver, local guide, and intrepid guide before we cross to Nepal. Tibetans are bit allowed passports so we change or guide for the last couple of days.
The road down was amazing. The road clung to the edge of the for as we descended and there were many hair pin bends with little room for manoeuvre. The are we are now in send a different planet to that which we were in only this morning…lush green baskets with waterfalls and forests. There were also reminders if hire precarious the road is. Nevertheless, we arrived in Zhang Mu and took a welcome shower before heading out for our farewell dinner with our leaders.
The restaurant we went to was nice enough but, as is often the case, the translation of the menu was not really helpful.
Having finished our food we went to a local nightclub and had a few more drinks, some dancing, and the locals performed an impromptu cabaret act. We got to bed somewhere around 2am…by far the latest of our trip, ready for a new country tomorrow.