quinta-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2010

Lhasa / Kathmandu - 9th Day

Camping (4350m) - Rongbuk Monastary (4980m) - Qomolongma Advanced Base Camp (5100m)

Distance - 60km

The last step to reach the Qomolongma Base Camp :-)

I wondered if I was getting used to or if it was just because of the good mood I was feeling in that morning, however the true was my body was getting painless and stronger. After the usual breakfast, that was growing smaller by the day (my storeroom was getting "thinner"...), I got back to the bumpy road or, better saying, the road made of stones with the size of my head. It was the same road I had to ride on the day before...the firsts km became a nightmare.

A few km ahead I crossed a small village with more sings of development than the villages I had seen before. The explanation for that was quite simple...in nowadays this village enjoy a strategic location. This is a mandatory route and stop to hundreds or maybe thousands of tourists every year, heading the Qomolongma Base Camp and a famous trek called Kator.

As the km went by I crossed other small villages, always full of children. However the human atmosphere of these places was quite different from the one I had the opportunity to feel in the villages I met days before. Here, the older people were less communicative and had always a cold face. When I was seen, most of the children had only one thing in mind: trying to get something from me. And most of them became aggressive after realizing that I had nothing to offer. In some moments I had to jump out of the bike to stop and frighten them away. Those moments were always tense…I true believe that the face is like the window of your soul and heart. And for any reason, out of my known, the window of the people of this valley somehow was blocked.

Besides that, those tense moments always got worse when the caravans of jeeps, filled up with tourists (most of them Chinese), passing, sometimes, no more than a few centimeters from me and the children…Moreover, the possibility of being knock down by this crazy and frenzied people, there was the risk of being hit with thrown rocks. Most of this guys had no sense of respect for those that are walking, riding or just crossing this goddamned road…even when I was giving them signs to slow down most of them didn´t care…in one moment I decided to grab a small rock and ride with it just to throw it against the first car that didn’t respect my signs…I got really mad…

After a while I had to stop and put my thoughts away from that negative atmosphere…I stopped right in the middle of a bridge to chill out my soul and body with the sound of water and the beauty of the landscape. Absorbed in my thoughts I didn’t realize that a small girl came by noiseless and was making me company. Her face was extremely kind and timid but had a beautiful and true smile. She didn’t ask for anything. After a few minutes in silence I decided to speak with her in English and Portuguese. She didn’t understand a single word but the empathy came out since the first look J and we started to communicate through gestures. I shared with her the only energetic bar I was carrying…her smile was a wonderful gift to me. Suddenly she stands up and without a goodbye she went away. I give her a goodbye but after awhile she appeared with an elder lady, probably her grand-mother. It was not the first time I felt frustrated because of the language…this can probably be the strongest barrier to one's learn and be part of a different culture…I was loosing the most interesting part of the tibetan culture just because I was not able to speak and understand a single word…

After some funny moments with my camera I said farewell and jumped to the road. That negative atmosphere had completely disappeared J and the sweet moment I had was enough to make me forget those tense moments and to give me the motivation to conquer the tens of km that I still had ahead to reach the Qomolongma Base Camp!

The girl I met on the bridge :-)

Her grand-mother

My first view of Everest!

The north-face o Everest

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