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China: Reflections on the Great Divide

After nearly two months in China, Sasha and I have holed up in a hotel in Katmandu, Nepal where we’re taking advantage of some unfettered access to the Internet to catch up on the blog and wait for Sasha’s sister to arrive. We’ve gotten more questions about China and what it’s like from friends and family than any other place we’ve visited. We’re still soaking in everything we learned from China — some good, some bad — but we wanted... Read More

Totalitarian Time Zones

We just arrived in Nepal. As we crossed the border we set our watches and cameras back two hours and 15 minutes (UTC +5:45). Not sure whose idea it was to put them a quarter of an hour off from the rest of the world but we’re going along with it. Of course, that’s nothing compared to China’s time zone craziness. All of China is in a single time zone UTC +8. This is despite the fact that China spans five international time zones. It’s a policy that’s... Read More

New Country. New Beer.

Everest beer on our first night in Kathmandu, Nepal. I think it’s Nepal’s version of Budweiser, but after the week-long haul across Tibet that, awesome though it was, left us exhausted and dirty, it’s hitting the spot. Beer first, shower second…   Kathmandu, Nepal  Read More

Barley Wine Break

After our time in Lhasa, we spent 4 days driving to Tibet’s southern border with Nepal, stopping at monasteries along the way. Tibet is a land of extremes. It has an average altitude of 4,500 meters (14,800 feet) – the highest in the world. Our bodies were particularly aware of this fact on the high mountain passes where a short walk from the car to the lookout point was a workout. The landscape itself could easily be lifted from the photos sent back by the Mars rover.... Read More

The Big Top: Everest Base Camp

Okay, so braving base camp on the Tibetan side isn’t as hard as it sounds. No week of climbing in the freezing cold needed. The Tibetan plateau is so high that the country is practically already on the snow level of Everest. To compare, if you’re on the Nepal side you’ll spend a week hiking to get to the snow line. We pretty much drove in. But is was cold, if that counts. The ribbon road to base camp with Everest in the distance. The Chinese don’t use the... Read More