Saturday, 7 November 2009

My last morning in Tibet. Heading home.

I woke up really early desperate to make the most of my last few hours in Tibet only to find that the front doors to the hotel were locked and i couldn't get out!
I went up on the hotel roof and stood looking at the Potala in the dark:

We had to leave at 7.30am. I eventually made it out of the hotel at 6.45, put my hood up, hurried down the pre-dawn roads past the armed guards, past the Tibetan lady roadsweepers, past a couple of people on their way to or from the Jokhang, past the empty market stalls to the Jokhang itself. What a site before dawn. I wanted to do another "Kora" of the temple before i left; with all the Tibetans and without the hustle and bustle of the markets later on.
With my hood up i was so obviously a westerner as i didn't want to disturb people in their morning ritual i just wanted to breathe it in and enjoy my last few hours in Tibet. I kept my camera on video round my neck in the hopes that people may understand what the Jokhang is like in the morning, especially those who don't have the chance to get to Tibet, because of visas or because of exile. So apologies for this video being a bit ropey, but i didn't want it to be obvious that i was filming because it would have changed the dynamics of the situation, and also if i got seen by the troops i would have got in big trouble.
Note the sounds of the Tibetans doing full prostrations and the prayer wheels they spin and the silence of the Jokhang before the dawn.

I got back to the hotel in time for a quick cup of (green)tea before getting in the bus to the airport. I still can't believe it was over so quickly. We arrived back to the heat in Kathmandu, had a swim, went shopping in Thamel, ate a plate of chips, avoided the hotel dog, managed to pack everything up in one bag and then had a huge 6 course meal sitting on cushions on the floor with everyone from the group. Then before you know it it's Goodbye Himalayas i'm off back to London.

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