I stood huffing and puffing half way up the first flight of stairs. It was a stupid thing to do, a laps of concentration brought on by the ability to, by now, breath normally whilst pottering around assisting in the assembly of the 16 bicycles of my group members. But acclimatising to high altitude takes longer than the few days we have been here in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Leaping two steps at a time can lead to only one thing here, rapid exhaustion.
The day before we had visited the Potala palace. The ex-seat of of government of this Himalayan land is placed high up built into a rock, and the sight of 16 fit, health, strong looking people clambering up the multitude of steps looking like an outing of geriatrics would have been amusing except for the fact that each time I laughed it left me coughing spluttering and gasping for air.
With the acceptance of the usual collection of coughs, sore throats and regular toilet visits we all seem to be acclimatising well. Everyone is as keen as mustard to leave the city behind and get out into them there hills.
Ahead lays 1200 kilometres of high altitude cycling traversing the Himalayas from Lhasa to Kathmandu. En-route we shall visit Everest Base Camp.
Internet, as you will probably appreciate, is not abundant in the wilds of Tibet so the chance of an update are thin, although not impossible.
For now though I must dash (which I am sure has got anyone who knows me in a fit of laughter). Much to be done in a rapidly diminishing amount of time.
(PS. Facebook is blocked here, so if you have contacted me via Facebook it will be a while before I can reply.)