June 3, 2010

Leaving Nepal to Lhasa

2010-06-04_ktm-3.JPGfeedback: "Dear Dario, Sabine and the 3 lovely children!
Thank you so, so much for coming to visit us on Friday at The British School. (Nathalie thank you so much for the initial contact). The school was still buzzing today after your visit and superb talk/slideshow and our members of staff and children were totally inspired by what you are doing!
I would very much like to stay in touch. I hope that your trip to Tibet has gone well so far.
Kind regards,
Becci"

Last article in Nepal. Tomorrow Friday the 4th of June we had the last school presentation in Nepal before we enter Tibet. We visited a total of 16 schools in Nepal and collected a total of 1000 kg of trash between the sea in Kolkata and Everest! All this was only possible thanks to our sponsors SGS, Victorinox, Mammut, our doners, the patronages of Switzerland and UNEP and many volunteers and helpers in Nepal. Here only some faces to thank to all of you!

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Washing for 3 young children in the icy water in Khumjung is finished...It is time to say goodbye from Nepal and our friends... and Salina also from her school mates:

IMG_3028.JPG IMG_3079.JPG Salina's best Sherpa friends

Thumbnail image for IMG_3009.JPGAndri with Puradoma in the kitchen. Sabine and the kids spent more than a month in her house.

Noe's friend Pasang Futi Sherpa. A great person, because she was always happy.
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Many thanks to the Swiss Embassy for all the help. Here the Swiss Ambassador Thomas Gass and Urs Fl├╝ckiger with outstanding people like Lhakpa, Sabin and Purna, who made the rescue of Gianni from Everest a success.
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P1000765.JPG Finally thank you to all the people who continue to keep this country clean and thanks for all students for the wonderful solutions that give our planet a great future.
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So AGAIN and AGAIN thank you to all our friends they helped us to make our TOPtoTOP activities in this beautiful country a success! Special thanks to our Swiss friends, family Gass in Kathmandu where we were able to recover before we continued to China.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for P1000828.JPG Kathmandu

Here the last school visit in Nepal, the British School in Kathmandu:
2010-06-04_ktm-1.JPG composting

2010-06-04_ktm-2.JPG Dario giving a presentation

Posted by dario at 1:51 PM

June 9, 2010

TOPtoTOP Movies

Jacqui Hocking made some beautiful movies, while in Nepal. Sit back and enjoy!

more movies on vimeo TOPtoTOP Channel:
http://vimeo.com/channels/toptotop

Posted by toptotop at 6:36 PM

June 11, 2010

Crossing TIbet

Our new phone number in China is: +86 136 994 105 46

Chek latest media coverage of TOPtoTOP on CNN.

00-2010-06_tibet_0200.JPGblind students in Lhasa, Tibet

So we made it to Lhasa and went for the first TOPtoTOP presentation/talk in China. It was a blind school founded by the great NGO "Braille Without Borders". Already in the first moment we recognized that we found one of the best examples on our whole trip around the world. So please read more and make a donation!

Here the story how we got from Kathmandu, Nepal to Lasa in China:

01_2010-06_tibet_0100.JPGthe high Tibetan plateau

It was not very easy to organize the visa and trip further from Nepal into Tibet and China. Thanks to Lhakpa Sherpa, who owns the travel agency "Sherpa & Swiss Adventures Ltd" we finally managed. We learned that we had to cancel the Chinese visa we organized before to get a visa for Tibet and that we have to extend it in China. Further they told us, that you can only cross from Kathmandu to Lhasa with a guide and escort car. So we decided that the kids and most of our equipment are in the car and the parents switch cycling.

When we liked to cross the border between Nepal and China they did not stop us because of the overloaded bike, - no, they stopped us because of Noe (?). He has had so many mosquito bites in his face that the officer thought he has a very dangerous sickness. But thanks to or guide Sonam we were able to explain that we forgot to close the window the night before and that the mosquitoes like baby blood best. Thanks to the high altitude of the Tibetan plateau there were no mosquitoes anymore and Noe recovered fast.

02_2010-06_tibet_0031.JPGDario crossing the border from Nepal to China

03_2010-06_tibet_0041.JPGMount Shisha Pangma, 8027 m in the back

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It was one of the best cycling we have done since we started 2002 in Switzerland. 12 years ago when I climbed Shisha Pangma and was here, there was not really a proper road. Now since two years the new road is finished and it is just a dream cycling here: No traffic, no angry dogs, perfect pavement, cool temperatures and a fantastic landscape!

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The passes we crossed were Nyala, Lalung La, Karola and Kambata. Some over 5000 m high and decorated with prayer flags flying in the wind.

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After some days we had again Everest in sight; this time from the North. After two days we saw him the last time. We left this giant behind and took the nice experiences with us.

Resize of 08_2010-06_tibet_0105.JPGSabine with Everest in the back

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The local people were just amazing. They always loved to play with our kids and our CANYON bike. We on the other side were very interested how they can survive in this high altitude and extreme climate. They are really champions of surviving and may are our teachers if climate change become even more dramatic. Our guide Sonam told us that in the last years the region became hotter and hotter and it is more difficult to cultivate the land. Means: people have less income and more difficulties to cover their basic needs. As we travel in lower altitudes Sabine was able to give our warm cloths away, although she already gave most of our warm kids- and baby cloths to Sherpa friends in Nepal.

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For TOPtoTOP it was a very inspiring trip to Lhasa. We found so many good examples for our climate. They boil the water only with solar power in less than 15 minutes in 5000 m altitude as an example! Most of the secrets to survive are in their sustainable attitude with nature, traditional environmentally friendly technologies and the YAK. A yak means not only milk or food. A yak is the most efficient transport system in this landscape. All parts of the yak are used for clothing, tools and many other useful things to survive...even yak dung they use for heating their houses.


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Finally also our kids enjoyed the trip. It was again a new experience, in a new environment and they adapte much faster then we do. We were happy that they already spent so much time in high altitude in Nepal so it was never a problem for them. The best for Salina and Andri besides playing around with local children was riding some distance on the back of the bike and for Noe just give Mami another cuddle when she needed a rest.

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Resize of 15_2010-06_tibet_0205.JPGPotala Palace in Lhasa

Resize of 16_2010-06_tibet_0198.JPG TOPtoTOP sharing their experiences with blind students.

Our wish: Please don't forget to donate to this great project of "Braille Without Borders" in Lhasa and help this blind children!

Posted by dario at 3:47 PM