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Finding Freedom...World Wide Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    3,932
    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We were in bed by 10, but up several times to pee as Diamox has a diuretic effect. Then we had banging on the door at 330 and it was Trevor saying Orvar was not well. He had gone down to the bike to get water and was dizzy. We woke the guides and they got some O2 from the car. Sara went in to assess him. He did not have altitude sickness, but more of the same general fatigue and poor nutrition. While she was there Trevor started vomiting. Now this is something to worry about as he clearly has altitude sickness. Sara started them both on Diamox anyway and we all tried to get some sleep. Orvar has lost a lot of weight and is not taking care of himself, but he does not appear to have Altitude sickness at least.

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    Trevor was nauseated and had a headache in the morning and he bought an O2 travel bag and some nasal tubing. After sucking back one bag he felt pretty good and the hotel filled it up again for him to take for tonight.

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  2. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
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    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    When we went out to the bikes they were covered with frost and it was -1. We decided to wait a bit for it to warm up. We thus set out an hour late at 9 am and it was 2.5 degrees. We have 412 km to Nagqu Tibet!

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    The road today is again in pretty bad shape and the number of trucks is insane. This is a real work out and probably some of the most intense all round days we have had. There is almost nowhere to stop. If you must stop on the verge you are taking your life in your hands.


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  3. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

    Joined:
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    Location:
    July 22, 2012 start RTW from Vancouver, B.C.
    We hit the first check point of the day and this took about an hour. A lot of checking of paper work and searching the gear. Trevor had his Jetboil fuel canister confiscated. While we were checking Trevor noted his Nescafe jar had opened in the top box and he cleaned it out and took it off to get the worst out. About 10 km later he was just in front of us and the top box came crashing off…he did not notice. Dan picked it up and waited for the van. Top box that was born in China died in China!

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    We did stop at the highest pass today at 5234 m, but did not stay long.

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  4. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    Great RR! :clap I finally caught up! :D
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  5. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Nice! We are taking a holiday in Vietnam off the bikes for 2 weeks so now it will be me that will have to catch up then! We are mentally and physically worn out after 6 months at such a hectic pace. Cheers Sara
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  6. #1Fan

    #1Fan Long timer

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    Wow!! Such an amazing ride! Would you mind explaining how the bag and nasal tube works and what it's purpose is? Thanks!
  7. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Hi

    At high altitude there is less oxygen. This is mostly a problem at night when you sleep. You breathe more to get more O2 but this drops your CO2 level and your bodies reaction to this is to stop breathing. This at altitude eventually causes altitude sickness which leads to swelling in organs like your brain and lungs. The only cure is to go to lower altitude but breathing higher concentrated O2 can improve your symptoms if it is mild. We filled the bag with O2 from a cylinder. This helped Trevor and we also descended from 4600 m to 3600 m. Sara
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  8. #1Fan

    #1Fan Long timer

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    Thank you for the explanation, and for sharing your adventures, Sara!!
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  9. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv. Supporter

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    Saralou,

    Brilliant ride report and pictures, what an amazing journey to follow!

    I am curious, did you suffer any side effects from the Diamox (other than the diuretic effects)? I took Diamox when riding in the Peruvian Andes, and although it helped with the altitude I had numbness in my fingers for nearly six months.

    Cheers,

    .
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  10. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    No we did not luckily. You were not so as numbness is a less common side effect. I am so sensitive to altitude I got a headache on the chair lift in Taos. In China we went up too fast and I was worried. Idid not take it in Peru as we had come from the Alta Plana and Bolivia and acclimated better. Cheers. Sara
  11. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    It was then down from there to Amdo after 276 km. We had crossed into Tibet, but there is no marker at least in English. The last 20 km it was raining and at times almost snowing. It was pouring when we got to the town, but by the time we made it to the far side it was sunny. The gas stations here you must show your ID card even to get into the station. There is a gate and a policeman checks ID. They saw us and let us in first and then asked for our DL and gladly sold us fuel…from a can. We had to wait a while for the guides as we knew there was a police check point at the end of town and so we heated up some noodle soups.

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  12. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    The sky is again looking black in our direction. While we were waiting at the police check there was huge dust storm and the fierce winds blew the black clouds away. We had some wet road, but no rain.

    You descend from 4600 m at Ando, but rise again to 4863 over another pass. The descent continues to 4500 m at Nagqu. The number of truck in lines in both direction is mad. About 15 km from the town the road is totally destroyed and the trucks are jostling for position to avoid the deepest holes. There are huge trucks, cars, and bikes all over the road going in both directions on the wrong and right side of the road. We weaved in and out to keep us some speed to get over the biggest holes, which are death defying at a snail crawl.

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  13. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    There is another police check 8 km from town and our guides were 45 min behind us because of the insane traffic. The police were very nice to us, asked us out of the line to park ahead, and invited us into the office with the coal burning stove to warm up and get out of the now brief rain shower. So happy we have the 20$ SIM cars as it has come in so handy to text the team as they are usually far behind us and for the police to call them. They made 3 call while we waited here as they to talk to Toni and Pam, which meant that once they showed up all they did was photocopy our Tibet permits and we were done in 5 min.

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    The ride to the city was uneventful and we were into the hotel by 6. Orvar is again not well but it seems he has what I had in Mongolia more of a low salt issue than altitude. Trevor was initially ok and came down for dinner and then was sick again. He has his O2 bag and we refilled it. Neither has now eaten all day. The plan is to get an early start as we are down hill all the way to Lhasa at 3500 m. The hotel was again ok and pricey. We had just an ok dinner in the hotel “dining room”.

    We were again asleep before 10 and had a restful night (no calls or knocking). The hotel include breakfast was also ugh, but there was steamed buns and boiled eggs and we had our own Nescafe so we survived. Both the other 2 did not eat this morning. It is sunny, but 2.5 degrees. We geared up and were about to set out when Orvar was again very dizzy. He recovered and insisted on riding. We had only gone about 6 blocks when he pulled beside be to saw he was unwell and we pulled over. He was sweaty and ill looking and likely hypoglycaemic. We pulled out the glucose ampules we had and he felt better in a few minutes, but we convinced him to ride in the truck.
  14. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    We have 332 km today to Lhasa and if it is like the last two you need all your wits.

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    Our driver Mr Tang is a motocross rider with lots of experience. Orvar’s BMW suit is 4 sizes too big for him and so fits the much larger Mr Tang pretty well. His wind breaker as well, but the helmet is another story since he could not do up the chin strap or put the visor down…this made for some cold riding. We taped up the legs of the rain pants that he wore over long johns and jeans.

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    Prostrating Pilgrims on the way to Lhasa. They take 3-7 steps forward, then throw themselves out flat on the ground, and then they leap up and start again. They wear wood paddles on their hands to aid in the sliding.


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  15. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Mr Tang rode the first 160 km to the first check point. We had to stop a few times so he could get the helmet off and warm up. We also stopped a lot today unlike the last few for pictures. The altitude rises to 4700 m and does not drop until about 80 km from Lhasa, which is at 3656 m. It is cold and windy for sure this morning, but better than yesterday. We sure saw a lot of Yaks today. We passed thru a number of small villages, which are much tidier and nicer than most of the Chinese ones we have seen.

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    The road surface as well today is very good. There is much less truck traffic as they stop in Nagqu in the day and then drive at night because they are not allowed to enter Lhasa after 730 am until late in the evening. There was however almost constant construction as they are reinforcing the road on both side with a concrete pad. There is nowhere for construction vehicles to be off the road so they are parked there and traffic fights to get around them.

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  16. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Leaving the city we actually first went up in altitude and over a high plateau with panoramic mountain views.


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  17. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    There was a checkpoint 160 km from Naqgu. We stopped just before it so Orvar could ride the bike thru the Police check. It was fairly quick to get thru. Then we rode the 6 km to Danxung where we got lunch and gas. It was mayhem at the gas station with all the local with small bikes and only 3 cans to fill with. There was some pushing and shoving inside as the locals prepaid for their gas and then running to get a can from a guy filling his bike. For us we could pay after, but you always have an extra liter or 2 and you can not just put it in the jerry can. Dan bought 2 liters from the guys beside us who had too much and so we got a can!!! Orvar gave us his 2 liters he had and then Dan gave a local guy the 1.5 we had left….pay it forward.

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    Lunch was noodle soup cooked in a pressure cooker as we are still above 4600 m. We also ran into a Chinese rider here on his way to Lhasa.

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  18. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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    I finally caught up and then thought you were going to stop posting. lol
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  19. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    Haha Not quite just a break from the bikes for a 2 week holiday from the adventure. Back at it now, but I am several countries behind now. SP
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  20. Saralou

    Saralou Worldwide Rider

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    There is a huge festival starting Oct 1 in 2 days time and Lhasa will become very crowded. All the non tourist businesses will be closed for a week. All the hotels will be booked. This is partly why we have had to press so hard as we had to pre-book and prepay the hotel there for 3 nights (200$ us/night 3 star and this is a good deal for Lhasa). Ours is a very popular hotel as it has an excellent location.

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