Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2005 03:32:22 +0000
Subject: #3-- World Tour-Nepal and Tibet
Dear family and friends

First thank you so much for 20 replies to my India email. It warms my heart,shows interest and support to what I am doing and I know what's going on in your lives. When we get to fast internet I will reply to each email.
Tomorrow is 32 years since we came to America and it's a great way to ceelebrate that by traveling around the world.
From India we flew to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal and were met by our traver agent who did the booking for us for Kathmandu and Tibet. He went out of his way to make us feel welcome. Kathmandu is a very pleasant, civilized modern city with very few beggars (our travel agent said they are all from India because of the open borders). We had a city tour, visited many Hindu and Buddhist temples with stunning architecture, walked shopping streets, saw many painted swastikas and 6-pointed stars which are symbals of good luck in these religions, saw signs at the the entrance of Hindu temples "For Hindus Only". Imagine signs like theses in front of a chrch or a synagogue.

We visited the most charming town of Bhaktapur, which is a UN World Heritage site. Learned about the religious art in the local art school. We were very impressed with the people and the rich history and beautiful architecture in the cities and the countryside. We met a lot Israeli boys and girls travelling in India and Nepal after their army service.
Unfortunately we had only 2 days in Nepal because we had to go through Tibet and take the last flight out of Lahsa by Oct 29.
On Oct 22 we left our hotel in Kathmandu at 5:30 am and took a tour bus through through beatiful countryside towards the Nepal-Tibet border. Our bus was stuck in the narrow mountain road in a major gridlock close to the border. We had to leave the bus and drag all our luggage uphill to the Nepalese Customs Office for about 1/2 mile. After completing the paperwork we had to drag our luggage, again uphill, to the CHinese Customs Office. After completing the paperwork, we dragged our luggage a third time to the Toyota land-cruiser jeeps and started our 5-day, 600 mile drive through Tibet to Lhasa.
The first 2 1/2 days we were jumping and bouncing on the dusty, broken and bumpy mountain road which is by far the worst ride we ever had.Accomodations along the route were very basic because tourism in Tibet started only recently.

The Himalayan mountains are spectacular, majestic, extremely high and simply magnificent. We actually saw Mount Everest on the horizon covered by snow. We crossed the highst pass, elevation 17700 feet. We are having a real, real adventure. We are meeting interesting people who have been traveling for many months. They are either in their 20's or 30's who are doing it before they start all obligation-marriage, kids, house, mortgage............or "mature people" who are doing after they fulfilled all obligations, raised children, paid mortgages and are now free to travel.

By now we are in the middle of Tibet. Roads and accomodations are better. We visited 2 beautiful and colorful monasteries. Tibetan people are pleasant, hard-working and are trying to improve their lives. Tomorrow we will reach Lhasa where we will spend 2 days.

In Nepal and Tibet we went through a lot checkpoints along the roads where the army made their presence visible.

So far we have gone through the worst and now things are getting much better. Please email us .

Best wishes and much love,

Inna and Ron