The Highest Train In The World

on Sunday, 9 May 2010

Today we are getting our 43 hour train journey from Lhasa to Chengdu, which is also the highest train in the world. We have to leave the hotel at 11:30am and unfortunately they turned the electricity off last night so I didn’t get much downloaded, so try to get a bit more this morning. We load up on some food for the journey and then get the mini bus to the train station. We arrive at the station and it is a pretty impressive building. We have to have all our luggage scanned and there is a guy on our tour with a bicycle which has a bit of trouble getting it through. It seems like they just don’t know what to do with it. Finally we are all through and go inside and sit down while we wait to board the train. about 20 minutes before departure we are let out onto the platform and everyone queues up at the carriage to board. The platform and train are so clean it’s ridiculous and everything is so organized. We get on and after a bit of confusion about the seats we find our beds. I am on the top of the three bunks and Tom on the bottom. The top must be eight foot of the floor and you have little pegs that pop out to climb up. We have 3 other people from the tour in the next cabin and there are three people in hard sleeper and one in soft sleeper. The hard sleeper is absolutely packed out and I can not imagine spending 43 hours in there. I hope you got upgraded Joe and Flora! The soft sleeper has only four beds and is a private room, which also includes personal TV’s and a bit more luxury. Throughout the train there is oxygen sockets, because of the height the train goes and how quickly it goes there, there is quite a risk of altitude sickness. A few hours in I get a headache which lasts for several hours, but thankfully is not too bad. Outside we are in the mountains and there is quite a lot of snow on the ground. We play a bit of cards in the restaurant cart with some Israeli guys who are in hard seat. They let us sit there and play even though we are not eating. I then go back to the cabin and try and catch up on the blog and watch some Flashforward and 24. I get to sleep quite early but wake up several times through out the night.