Photos by Martin – Stories: “The Friendship Highway is definitely not a highway. It’s hardly even a road by most definitions, but a rough dirt track that begins in Kathmandu, traverses the steep terraced valleys of Nepal, climbs over the highest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas, weaves through the desolate high-altitude desert of the Tibetan plateau, and ends in Lhasa, the mythical capital of Tibet. It takes a week to make the thousand-kilometer journey, sometimes driving as much as twelve hours a day.
Our Tibetan guide (let’s just call him Tashi to keep him out of trouble with his wife) met us at the border with Tibet. Striding around confidently with an air of authority, he seemed to know all the officers at the border, as well as every official in every town between Lhasa and Kathmandu. Surprisingly for a guide, Tashi showed little enthusiasm for explaining the sights that we passed. But he showed plenty of enthusiasm for talking about himself (especially with some of the women in our group).”