Tibet 7: Mountain passes and Zhangmu
June 13, 16:30: Just below Lalung Pass, 5282km from Shanghai, 4800m
Morning: rolling hills (slight up), slight headwind.
Afternoon: steep uphill, huge wind (mostly head.)
We’re now camping in the valley between two passes. Tomorrow’s pass takes us to the world’s longest downhill!
June 14, 13:00: Nylam, 3800m
This morning we crossed Thang Pass (5050m), our last mountain pass, then rode along a ~15km downhill followed by rolling hills, mostly down. Things are a lot greener down here and we’re below the treeline (which seems to be exactly 4000m.)
There were several snowcaps visible from the top of the pass and as I descended, they all disappeared behind lesser but closer mountains. A good way of saying goodbye!
June 14, 16:00: Zhangmu, 2300m
Yay, world’s longest downhill :) Over 30km of coasting down past tree-covered hills full of waterfalls!
Zhangmu is an interesting town geographically. There’s one main road, which is the China-Nepal Friendship Highway. It winds its way down the mountain and there are buildings on either side of the road.. there were at least 10 switchbacks between the top of the town and our hotel (which is near the bottom.) It’s a crazy road with all sorts of trucks making their way up and down, squeezing past each other using the gaps left between the Land Cruisers[*] parked on both sides of the road.
It’s warm and green down here and the air is full of oxygen! 8km more to the Nepal border!
[*] It’s spelled "Land Cruiser" but it’s pronounced "jeep."
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