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Potala Palace

E-Mail excerpt (Fri 14Mar2003): Today, thinking that I have sufficiently acclimatized (and my schedule didn't allow for any more time) to the 3700m high Lhasa I ascented up the Potala palace path with a horde of Tibetan pilgrims. It is truly an amazing experience. The Tibetan pilgrims, some of whom prostrate and bow every step of the way a couple of feet at a time, are very colorfull. The characters, costumes, colors are something out of another time... something out of a movie. The climb up the stairs wasn't too bad, the Potala palace commands some amazing views of Lhasa and the surrounding mountains. In the countless temples, the sights are even more overwhelming, especially the temples that have the stupas that are the resting place of the previous Dali Lamas. The smell of incense and the even more potent smell of Yak butter will be unforgetable (I'll never be able to stomach yak butter tea - yes it taste as bad as it sounds :P).

Well, obviously I was able to get the proper 'Permit' (I've never seen it nor will I ever) and airline ticket. My 'tour' (I've never seen the guide or the rest of the tour group nor will I ever) made it to Lhasa safely. No sign of a sandstorm, although it snowed yesterday. Today it was clear and sunny, although in the last hour clouds have rolled in. I'm off to see when I can fly back to Chengdu, except I've been having difficulty finding the 1 and only travel agency that can book flights for foriegners.

Take care all!

Oh and I keep forgetting to answer the questions:
1) I leave for LA on the 24th.
2) I haven't run out of money, in fact I've spent less than expected (although I've got to still book that flight).



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