We boarded our second 24 hour train ride, this time to Lhasa! Our journey to the Himalayas had begun.
The train from Xining to Lhasa leaves in the evening so that the boring scenery passes by while you’re asleep, and when we woke up we were on the Tibetan plateau. The set-up was a cubby with 3 beds on each side. This time we were with our 2 Tibet travel companions and had the 6 beds to ourselves, so we could sit on the bottom during the day to play cards and eat, then retire to our respectable beds to sleep.
For me sleeping on a train isn’t very hard because 1. I don’t move around a lot in my sleep, and with only a skinny little bed I think that is a big factor, and 2. The movement of the train tends to lull me to sleep, and along with some David Gray to listen to I was out like a light. The problems began the next morning for me.
The train climbed to about 5,000 meters before dropping back down again to roughly 3,500 meters in Lhasa. The 4 of us in our ‘Tibet group’ started to feel slightly light headed, but my light headed-ness quickly turned into a migraine. Thinking all we needed was some food we all ate our Mr. Noodle style noodles, and a half hour later I suddenly ran to the toilet with a hair-tie. Away went all my noodles, but I felt instantly better. As soon as I got back to my bed the train started to descend and we all started to feel more human.
Departing from our train we were amazed at how modern the train station was. The train station (and railway to Lhasa) is only a few years old but it was still a strange thing to see in Tibet. The drive to our hostel through 6 lane streets with colourful lights flashing everywhere had us all a little wide eyed, but thankfully we passed all of that and entered the old Barkhor area which has a much more traditional feel. We entered the doors of Rama Kharpo Hostel (The White Goat), and after a cup of tea we didn’t move again until breakfast.