Last night we went up to the New Manadal restaurant at the end of Barkhour Square to have a little Nepalese food, instead of Tibetan noodles - very fine rice and dhal. We fancied some ice cream and so decided to try Dico's, the local equivalent of McDonalds. We opted for ice cream and chocolate sauce - which all turned out to be faintly yak flavoured. If you're wondering why we tried Dico's its because we found pea flavoured ice cream in the local shops!
After a good night's sleep we were saddled up to go at 9 and cycled west out of the city following the river up stream. The road was good - smooth and not too busy. We came past lots of prayer flags on the mountains and saw people stopping their cars to put fragrant herbs into the little burning ovens by the stupas. Strangely there were seagulls and terns (no black cap). Other birds included a bee eater/bulbul shaped bird with a russet front and dark back, geese and chickens. We also saw our first yaks ambling down the road and plenty of cows in the fields. There were also lots of poly tunnels growing aubergines, melons, pak choi, tomatoes and doubtless many other fruits and veggies. We took a turning up to a tourist eco camp but only found a military barracks and some grumpy guards. But it was up a bit of a hill so good practise - I got quite out of breath whilst cycling but it all subsided very quickly we stopped. After 15miles we stopped for a drink in a cafe and then returned by the same route, calling in at the Tourist Toilet on the way back - better than most others we have visited but still not a fabulous experience. I think it will only get worse as the trip progresses.
Back in town we had noodles at the Lhasa Kitchen and picked up some chocolate - their brand seems to be Dove but I'm pretty sure its Galaxy! Tonight we'll have a farewell meal (to Lhasa) and then tomorrow the tough stuff begins. I think it may be 4 days until I can blog again but it might be all the way back to Kathmandu if we're unlucky in Shigatse with the internet.