Hi guys, thanks for your encouraging feedback. I'm sorry I've been absent for a while –*I went to Milan to attend the EICMA. I helped out friends at MOTOinfinito and represented the Ted Simon Foundation. It's been great, but exhausting too.
@Reidy008: Yep, I'm going to do it in two parts.
Our guide was a very nice and kind young man. He tried everything he could to make this part of our journeys as enjoyable as possible for us. I never found out how he got to the Nepali border to meet us and I don't know how he got to wherever he had to go after he wished us farewell at the border of Laos at the end. He just appeared and disappeared. And in between, he had this smile on his face. He either ride in the camper-van or the truck. All he had for luggage was a small daypack and a sleeping bag tied on top of it.
The larger the group, the bigger the chances of someone having some troubles with something. Over 12.000 feet, the camper-van's injection pump was playing up wildly. In the cold, the truck's diesel filter would clog from the lousy fuel that we got in Nepal. After the cold nights, my bike would only start after the camping stove warmed up the engine block for half an hour. In addition, we poured boiling water over the cylinders. Some of us would suffer from altitude sickness more than others, but we all agreed, most challenging was getting good food in these remote areas. We always had to go into the kitchen and point at things. Not only because of the language barrier, but also because we wanted to avoid eating rat.
Sometimes we wouldn't make the checkpoint. This one day, the camper-van stopped working altogether and we had to fix it. This also meant spending the night in between places. It might not look it, but the 4-wheelers are pretty crammed with equipment for their long journeys. So there was just enough space for me to fit in the truck with the others for the night. Our guide however, didn't pull out a 2 square-meter heated, survival capsule out of his daypack. We explained to him, that we are stuck and we don't know where he can spend the night.
I don't really know how he did it. But he stayed cool until way after dark. At some stage he just jumped onto this one military truck that came by (the only other vehicle we had seen the second half of that day) and waved at us. I'm not sure where they let him sleep, but he was back the next morning before we were all ready to drive on. And he still had this smile on his face. Amazing guy. Amazing Tibetan guy.