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Our flight out of Lhasa, Tibet was interesting. It was a full hour's drive out of the city, through many tunnels and across many rivers before reaching the international airport. We remarked over and over again as to why it was so far away when there appeared to be plenty of land closer to the capitol.
Our immigration exit process was effortless and we found ourselves waiting at the gate in no time. We met a couple of southern Missouri, Jerry and Ecky, who make our travel history pale in comparison. To date they have been to 113 countries. We enjoyed our chat and eventually boarded our Sichuan Airlines flight to Kathmandu. After flying over the Himalayas, and minutes from landing in Kathmandu, our pilot announced that weather has turned treacherous and that we were turning back to Lhasa. Ninety minutes later we were back on the ground in Tibet to refuel and await a break in the weather. On board a group of Spanish tourists got out an accordion and a flute and we enjoyed an impromptu concert. And hour later we were back in the air. This time the clouds had parted and we enjoyed an amazing view of Mt. Everest.
Landing was perfect and we were met on the tarmac with a landing stair and transfer bus. One in the terminal the process was a bit involved but in no way complicated.
The lines were short and the immirgation officers were about as pleasant as one could imagine. The whole process was quick and efficient and we found ourselves at baggage claim and out on the curb for a taxi within an hour of landing.
We found supplies at a small convenience store that carried some necessities, wandered the streets for fresh veggies and fruit, and found a frozen meat market (don't think we will be buying anything fresh) a bit further down the alleyway. Our first few meals were all about comfort food and trying to establish some roots.
Homemade chapati. Never done this before and they were AMAZING. Again sorta not like home.
We spent the rest of our first week wandering the streets, taking photos, and getting our bearings. Next week we will extend our boundaries a bit and see a bit more. We have a full month and are in the center of the city...so there are many choices. Here is a small video our our first long walk in the city. The smells, colors, sounds, and images are vivid. The people are kind, polite, and curious. The vendors and shop keepers are what you would expect. The food is AMAZING. The prices are ridiculously low. There is garbage everywhere. There is still a lot of visible damage from the big quake. It is warm and getting hotter daily as we near the end of the monsoon season. The humidity is overwhelming at times. It is a way of life. The way local people say "thank you" is both charming and heart-warming. The little ones are adorable. We LOVE this place!!!!!