week 5:  road to kailash
46 km
5.6 hrs
Sand, pushed through kilometers of it today. When the sand ended it was rocks. Had hard boiled eggs from Ali for lunch. Slow day but beautiful. I’m back along the banks of the Indus river which I left over a month ago in Pakistan.
43 km
6 hrs
About halfway through the day I realized that we must be on the old road from Ali to Mt. Kailash.  There is a new shorter route that we somehow missed. This wrong turn cost us at least a day of hard riding. 200 m sections of road have been completely washed out, here are long stretches to rocky to ride. We splashed through or carried through at least 40 stream and river crossings today. There are no supply trucks traveling this section of road either. An exhausting and slow 40K, but beautiful camping.
59 km
6.5 hrs
Nice morning. Last couple days of camping have been very enjoyable. Very beautiful. Tibetan ladies in a Land Cruiser bought us bread and tea in a small village.  Left the Indus river valley after four days of traveling along it, camped high, just after a pass and near a small lake.
57 km
6.5 hrs
Ripped a tire on the rocky road today, my second ripped tire, lucky to have 2 spares. Changed the tire in a lightening storm.  While changing my tire realized that the rear wheel was beginning to crack. No way to fix that if it breaks. We stopped to camp and I had my bike taken apart for other repairs when we discovered that the water nearby was to muddy to filter.  Rode for another hour in the rain. Made camp in the dark. Stove was malfunctioning and we couldn’t cook a full dinner.  Sometimes wonder how I’ll ever make it to Kathmandu.
49 km
5.5 hrs
More storms, woke to rain. Took 2 hours trying to cross a river. First route was too deep in very fast water. Stephan eventually found another route. Took 4 trips, one to find the route, then 2 for luggage and a final to carry the bike. Cold water. Climbed a 4900 m pass, then descended slower than we climbed due to rocky road. Then 2 more flooded rivers to cross. One quite deep and a bit scary. Arrived in Darchen at the foot of Mt. Kailash. Happy to be here. Found out that the road we had just come down was “closed” due to flooding rivers. Trucks and jeeps were not making it through the rivers we had just crossed.
The road from Ali to Kailash drops south and parallels the Himalaya along the Northern border of Nepal.  The first two days followed the banks of the Indus River which flows from Mt Kailash though Pakistan to the Indian ocean. It’s the monsoon season in the Himalaya and we’re close enough to get caught in daily rains and flooding rivers.
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304 km
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week 5
mt kailash
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