week 6:  saga
54 km
5.5 hrs
We had breakfast with Martin, he’s off to trek Kailash then possibly catch us on the road to Nepal. Left Darchen to clear skies and another big river crossing. Kailash in brilliant view. After 4 hours of riding, circumambulated a group of prayer flags at the last view of Kailash then left the mountain behind.
64 km
8 hrs
Followed fresh bear tracks near our camp and down the road in the AM. Extremely rare to see the Tibetan Brown Bear (Chinese killed most of them). Lots of wildlife in the last couple of days: owls, pheasants, duck, antelope, trout, and some birds I’ve never seen before. Up a long pass, more storms, hail and lightening on the pass. Camped in the rain.
71 km
7.3 hrs
Good road, good weather, were able to average about 6 mph; great time in Tibet. More views of monsoon packed Himalaya. Everyday storms blow up from Nepal, today they missed us. Had to ask Tibetan family for water, no rivers around. Unbelievable sunset, world became orange.
60 km
7 hrs
Over 2 4800 m passes by noon. Ran into a Taiwanese cyclist going to Kashgar, first cyclist we had seen. He informed us that the road ahead of us was good. It immediately went to shit though. 20 km of very frustrating riding. Amazing views though, we’re now following the Bramaputra river. Slept in the strange Chinese built city of Zongba, felt like a prison colony.
38 km
4 hrs
Rain all night. Had a couple of cups of coffee then a quick ride into Saga. Ate loads at a friendly Tibetan restaurant. Purchased excessive amounts of food for our trip down the Saga shortcut road; 300km (5-7 days) with no food en-route.
The road to Saga follows the Northern border of Nepal and slowly transitions from Western to Central Tibet. We saw the more wildlife along this section than the rest of the trip, including owls, antelope, pheasants, cranes, and even brown bear footprints (uncomfortably close to our tents).  
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