A slight delay in posting my forms off to the Chinese Visa Application Service Center, after Wild Frontiers advised changes to how to complete the application form. But by 9.30am my application was heading off towards Holborn via Special Delivery. Hopefully I’ll have something back towards the end of next week.
Sara at WF had also heard from their local agent confirming the equipment being supplied during camping etc, and 4-season sleeping bags will be provided…. but there are no guarantees as to condition or quality. Sara was able to tell me that we’ll have porters/yaks to carry our three days’ kit during the Mt Kailash kora, which helps on the ‘which rucksack(s) to take’ front, so tomorrow’s kit shopping will focus on a head torch, trekking poles and a fleece liner…. I’m hoping Phil’s Sugru will arrive in time to mend the split betwixt sole and upper on my left foot walking boot……
It’s taken me a fair few hours to add all the details of this summer’s expedition onto my Where next? page, but Wild Frontiers’ Himalayan Journey from Lhasa to Kashgar just gets better every time I look at the itinerary and pre departure information!
I’ve also worked out my kitlist which I’ve now added into my trip prep spreadsheet – I started tailoring the one for this trip yesterday, adding details of the itinerary so that I could work out how many days I’d be in China for my Chinese visa application. Talking of which… I’ve filled out the visa application form and I’m going to post everything off on Friday, once I’m back from S&S Rotterdam. The Chinese Visa Application Service Center‘s Procedures of Application by Post looks straightforward, and I really like the fact that there is a process flow diagram and a checklist (in the Visa Instruction >> Forms for Download area) on website.
I got the Lonely Planet guide to Tibet out of the library yesterday too, and did a bit of flicking / reading. There’s a section on trekking, which includes the Mt Kailash kora. Based on that and my Annapurna Circuit experiences, I’m definitely buying some trekking poles and I may whip up a fleece liner too – assuming I can borrow a four season sleeping bag (Phil!).
Now I just need to get to grips with my Gisteq PhotoTracker Lite gadget and software – this year’s big birthday present from TJBR and dad and Jean.
I do seem to have spent an awful lot of time getting the photos from my last trip (Central Asia Overland, with Explore) onto Flickr… but they’re all up there now, in my imaginatively titled Central Asia Overland set.
All (all!) that’s left for me to do is:
Geotag/map the photos I took in Xinjiang, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The Yahoo! mapping is so frustratingly woeful that I can only cope with geotagging one place at a time… Transliteration and the original-versus-Soviet/Beijing place name variations don’t help.
Improve the tagging. I’m sure I’ve got lots of spelling variations myself… next time I’ll be more rigorous at logging the tags I chose, and checking past conventions, before I start.
Delete some. I’m hopeless at picking which is the best out of any particular bunch. For example, Registan square in Samarkand, the Kalon mosque in Bukhara, not to mention Khiva…..
Defrost. With London’s daytime temperatures hovering around zero our spare room-cum-office is freezing. I’ve been sitting at my computer clad in 2 pairs of socks plus ancient roof terrace gardening slippers, four top layers including fleece and vast woolly jumper, scarf and hat…. and occasionally resorting to wrapping up in the spare duvet too.
 This is the most zoomed in map for Samarkand (which you won’t find if you search for “Samarkand”) – see what I mean…