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    Heading towards Nepal!

    Having reached the super holy Mt. Kailash (6656m) by bicycle from Denmark was a great thing for me. Magical moment...

    Wow, it’s hard to put to words what those last weeks have offered. Tibet has without doubt been one of the most unique travel experiences ever. The Tibetan Plateau is a very challenging place to be and I’m deeply impressed by the way the Tibetans get along here.

    The challenge of crossing Tibet by bicycle has been complete to me:

    Physically, the mountains, my unlucky crash and the badly hurt hand (it’s relatively fine again though not totally functionable), the thin air that has given me many problems breathing espec. during the nights, the unexiting food and the incredible coldness that dominates 24-7 (and that makes it highly inconvenient to go to the outside toilet at night ‘cos ass and balls get all frozen even before you’re done!) have been some of the things I’ve struggled with.

    Mentally, the isolation, the occasional total lack of social contact, the longing thoughts to all the folks back home that I love, the knowledge that there’s no easy way out, the thin air (again), the loneliness, the great distances have been tough.

    The remarkable thing and what makes it so hard to describe my Tibetan experiences is, nonetheless, the way the physical and mental challenges has played tricks on me phychologically. The thoughts have been flying and at times claustrophobic and very hard to control. I’ve had a hard time sticking to that part of me that for the first 6 months of the expedition has been cycling with a figurative fist in the air and that has met the world and its unpredictabilities with optimism.

    Being alone in the enormous mountains in the unpleasant coldness is hard psychologically and has reveiled a
    certain fragility in me that I really didn’t like but which has been a learning experience for me.

    Setting sun over the totally deserted Aksay Chin Plateau (4800m), Western Tibet - with a badly hurt right hand!

    I’m now in a smaller town, Saga where I arrived by bus yesterday. For 5 crazy days I waited in a little Tibetan village, Huore with 2 American cyclists, Chris and Sage (check Sages blog here).

    The climate was just to much for all of us, the joy of cycling had dissappeared so we decided to hitch a ride to Saga, 460 km. But it soon proved to be a lot harder than expected. Practically no trafic at all and those 2-4 truck that passed us daily were afraid of the police and refused to take us.

    After 5 days the weekly bus finally arrived. I was close to exploding out of pure frustration! The good thing about it was that all the waiting gave me a good opportunity to anthropologically make a small field study of the Art of Waiting. But goddammit, I could have been without that experience!

    I got very emotional when I checked my email inbox yesterday. So many encouraging and positive sounds from here & there. Thanks a lot for that, guys. It means a lot to me. Please, let the piano play. The sounds keep me going also (and especially) when the gioing gets tough! Thanks!

    Tomorrow I’ll leave Saga with a Slovakian/American guy, Rich (see his blog here) and head towards Nepal (ca. 400 km). I’ve had enough of the Tibetan Challenge and are really looking forward to Kathmandus lowland climate, the social life, gastronomical selection, that I vividly remember from my first Nepal visit in 1996. I plan on being in Kathmandu in around a week from where I’ll be back with more news on WT. I need a long rest, to socialize, drink beers and I’m confident that Kathmandu is the right place for that!

    Again, thank you very much for the mental support. It feels almost physical and it makes me happy…

    Nicolai

    Morning camp in the middle of Nowhere....Aksay Chin Plateau, 4800m

    On this day..

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    5 Responses to “Heading towards Nepal!”

    1. marta riccobene Says:

      Incredible…I’ve been thinking of you so much in those days checking often your website and trying to imagine what you just described above…beyond the phisical difficulties (I really hope your hand will heal definetively soon) I thought about loneliness of such an experience..when you’re really with nobodyelse except yourself, difficult but still so interesting I can guess. I wonder till which limits your mind went and how complicated and fool were your thoughts then. Could you stop your mind from time to time at all?or was it wandering all the time?
      Hope all the supportive thoughts of your friend (and mine) could reach you up there and warm you up a bit even before you could check them in your mails.
      One last thing..I’ll be in China soon too. I don’t think I will be on your way, I will stay in Shanghai at a friend’s place and then travel a bit with an organized group during november. Strange will be to think that we’re in the same place having such a different experience…
      good luck and have fun in Nepal
      marta

    2. marta riccobene Says:

      Ah,your pictures are just amazing!thanx a lot for them as well!!!!:)

    3. Bjørn Harvig Says:

      Følger stadigvæk med – kan simpelhen ikke lade hver. Og det er jo på ingen måde underligt.

      Selvom Kathmandu sikkert står som en milepæl, en helgen ja en redning – som en ven i nøden for dig nu – ikke uden grund -, så går der sikkert ikke længe før du drømmer om at være væk igen. Jeg krydser fingre for at du er på farten igen snart, for det kribler og klør, vil se flere billeder og høre nye betragtninger.

      I håb om varme fingre

      Bjørn

    4. Fjumse Says:

      Hej Bjoern…

      Det er altid dejligt at hoere opmuntrende ord fra dig! Du har sikkert ret ang. lysten til snart at komme videre, men lige nu virker en kold bajer over en varm pizza som noget af det mest lykkebringende i mit lille univers! 😉

      KH, Nicolai

    5. Fjumse Says:

      Dear Martha….

      I’m quite sure that I DID get some of your supportive thoughts! Thanks a lot!

      Anyway, I’m now very fine again and are looking forward crossing the Nepalese border tomorrow (06NOV06).

      Enjoy China!

      Nicolai

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