Days 3,4,5, and

I have decided as the internet availability is so sporadic that I will give you a synopsis of the adventure so far. We visited a very interesting youth monastery two days ago and were allowed inside as long as we walked clockwise around the interior. Fascinating to see young boys chanting and being taught and we also realised that they slept inside the temple with extremely hard beds which unfortunately run over into their hotel rooms! However having said that the hotel so far have been quite good and the food also although we have had the same eight or more dishes every night. Now to the driving and magnificent scenery. We have been ascending and descending every day. We came down from 5300m to 3000m yesterday over a spectacular twisting road named the seventy bends. We passed through several Tibetan villages where they were growing rice and rape seed and what we thought were cherry blossom trees turned out to be peach.There are new towns here being built by the Chinese.There are blocks of apartments some with space for shops underneath and all with the same curtains in the windows. However there does not seem to be the population at present to fill these places. Along the roads you see women with very young babies on their backs shovelling stones and shingle into trucks or carrying cement blocks in wheel barrows. Last night at around 4am. we were woken by our beds and everything in our room shaking. We were experiencing a small earthquake which originated in India. It only lasted a couple of minutes but your mind is saying where are the passports, money, warm clothes etc. Is this going to happen again and be more serious!
We are very happy that the car seems better, we spent the first few days leaving way before everyone else and usually last in in the evening. The car would only go up the passes in first gear and at about 7mph so you can imagine the frustration. Unfortunately 3 cars have now retired as they couldn’t manage for various reasons and we feel very lucky so far that we have been able to carry on. The rally has a website in case you need to read more, it is http://www.ralyround.co.uk There you will find good daily reports and photos. I will try to upload some photos now.

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