Brandon & Cheryl Wilson hiked approximately 1000-km. (650-miles) from Lhasa to Kathmandu? That’s about the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco–roundtrip–or Paris to Berlin. They averaged about 30-km. (19-miles) a day, traveling from sun-up to sundown.
At first, they were refused a visa to cross Tibet? The border had been closed to independent travelers for decades. It opened just the day before they reapplied to enter from Kathmandu.
The first foreigners weren’t officially allowed into Lhasa until 1979? Then, only 1200 Westerners had ever seen the city, and 600 of those were with the 1903 British invasion. Now, Chinese outnumber Tibetans in the holy city.
Showing kindness to guests is one of the most important traditions of Tibetan culture? The Communist Chinese have been unwelcome guests in Tibet for over 50 years now. Over 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed.
Temperatures along their route ranged from below freezing to 90 degrees F? Sometimes in the same day!
Altitudes along the Lhasa to Kathmandu route range from 4,130 to 17,100 feet? The highest was over three times the altitude of Denver. Altitude sickness, which can prove deadly, is not uncommon at those heights.
All of Tibet is on Beijing time, over two thousand miles to the east? It’s not uncommon for the sun to rise after 9am and set just as late.
They survived on yak butter tea, tsampa, momos, yak milk cheese, "761s" (a high-calorie fat and graham cracker bar) and a few dehydrated food packets for over a month? Brandon lost 25% of his body weight. After their horse Sadhu binged, they were warned not to feed him any more—or he’d explode.
The word sadhu in Tibetan means "chestnut?" In Nepalese, a sadhu is a wandering holy man. Sadhu already had his name when he joined them. Serendipity.
Mount Everest is known in Tibetan as Chomolongma, or the Mother Goddess? Everest basecamp now boasts the world’s highest toilet.
Rongbuk Monastery at 16,350 feet lies at the foot of Mt. Everest? The thousands of Tibetan monasteries destroyed during the Cultural Revolution now rest (as dust) at everyone’s feet.
The Panchen Lama, leader of the Yellow-Hat sect, is the 2nd highest incarnation in Tibetan Buddhism? The 6-year old Panchen Lama was kidnapped by the Communists in 1995–and hasn’t been seen since.