After a long and warm sleep we had some instant noodles and boiled eggs for breakfast. Today we had about five-six hours of drive in front of us back to Lhasa. Jue-a explained that there were checkpoints verifying that speed limit is kept along the way.
The system works such as that you get a ticket with a time stamp and a time for the next check point at the first check point. If you reach that point before noted time, you will have to pay a fine. So in effect most drivers speed and then crawl or take a short break just before upcoming check-points. To our drivers demise they had put a regular check only two minutes drive after the first stop as well. A nice picture of our land cruiser for the small price of 20 € was given by the friendly chinese traffic police.
This was quite bad news to Jue-a which makes about 100 € (note to self, ask for drivers salary next time when deciding with a travel agency) per month and would need to take this out of his own pocket. He asked if he could pick up some locals on the way to Lhasa which we didn’t mind. So three locals later he had reduced the fine to 5 € which was painful but not devastating. When the last check point was passed he gladly doubled the speed limit again, I was kind enough to refrain from commenting on this.
Back in Lhasa I took a long hot shower, something much needed as well as much appreciated. After some blogging Yoon-Ki knocked on my door as we would go out for dinner. I then realized that my black beanie was missing, probably still in the car. I called the travel agent who repeatedly asked me if I wanted to go to Nepali border. When explaining for the third time that we just got back he said I should come to Yak hotel next day to meet him, I’m quite sure he didn’t understand me. Yang would have been very useful but she was off helping two travelers who had probably been food-poisoned (she’s a doctor and knows chinese, good combination).
After some delicious fried noodles at Pentoc, Yoon-Ki and I strolled back to the hostel. I remembered my shaving foam accident and decided to replenish my stock. Doing this using sign-language proved to be a challenge but finally I managed to find some for the decent price of 1 €.
Back at the hostel we met Yang who thanked Yoon-Ki for yelling out that she was a doctor causing her to spend close to three hours with two girls who had eaten hamburgers about 8 hours old. I recalled that I’d borrowed my phone to Jue-a in Shiga when he was out of signal and that he’d then called his wife. So with the help of Yang we called his wife and asked for Jue-a’s number in hope of he had spotted my beanie. Better than that, the wife held the lovely hat in her hand and Jue-a would drop it off at our hostel the next day. Yay!
Now it’s time to publish the blog and some photos. It will probably be a calm night, perhaps watch a movie or read some, I haven’t had a fraction of the time reading I thought I would.