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September 5, 2006

In Tibet - Where the Sausage is Mightier than the Sword!

Click on image to play video (high speed connection advised).

LOCATION: Mangkam, Tibet
Longitude: N: 29.67°
Latitude: E: 098.59°
Miles from Singapore: 3440

Some of the dangers I'll potentially be encountering riding through Tibet are landslides (it's still the wet season), the difficulty of getting help if I get into trouble or become ill, and the possibility of being detected and made to leave. But the one I'm most concerned about, following reports of other cyclists who have traveled in the region, is the possibility of being attacked by wild dogs. Tibet is stuffed with large, aggressive 'mastiffs' that have been abandoned or broken loose from people's homes (where they are traditionally used as guard dogs) and are running wild in packs. An unknown percentage carry rabies, and the nearest hospital with rabies treatment from here is probably Lhasa, so the idea is to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Check out my cunning defense strategy on the vlog.

At the time of writing I am now officially in Tibet, having crossed the border two days ago. The roads so far have been dreadful, and the fuel line on my stove cracked early on so I've been living on noodles soaked in cold water (repair is impossible, the line being under pressure). There is little wood to be found for making a fire, but I'm loathe to do this anyway for fear of drawing unwanted attention to myself. Thankfully the little roadside kiosks that occasionally appear in the middle of a village sell nothing but noodles, so I could live out here for months.

My second night was spent at a monastery where the monks kindly gave me a place to pitch my tent away from the road. More on this in the next vlog. The Tibetan children I've encountered so far are a nightmare; running alongside the bike in packs trying to tear things off, then resorting to hurling stones when they can't keep up. I now carry an arsenal of missiles myself and have already engaged several groups of the thieving little tikes in pitched battles. A good amount of shouting and roaring on my part helps to frighten them away also (not very Buddhist, but neither is throwing stones). The Tibetan adults just stand there smiling in pride at their darling progeny take on the barbarian foreigner.





Posted on September 5, 2006 1:50 AM


Well, the sausage sounds like quite a plan - did you know there would be a danger of wild dogs? Best of luck - better keep a few sausages in reserve

Posted by: Darcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 8, 2006 3:19 AM