Monday, May 21, 2007

From sweat to shivers.

Since going to Tibet was the real objective behind this trip, I decided to travel in October - which is, according to most of the guide books and travel sites that I read, is THE best month to go to Tibet.

So what's the weather like in Tibet in October? You would automatically assume cold and you'd be 1/2 right. Daytime temps will hover somewhere around the high 50's F and night time temps in the low 30's F. Humidity levels will be at a very comfortable level as the Himalayas do a good job of blocking any moisture from Tibet's southern neighbors. The one big concern that I have is the UV factor which at 9 is on the extreme side - it's a reflection of the elevation. I'll need lots of sunscreen and appropriate eye protection.

In contrast, New Delhi is on the other end of the temperature scale with daytime highs in the 90'sF and night time lows in the mid 60's. I have a feeling humidity levels will also be uncomfortably high (at least for me) in the day. I'm going to be sweatin' up a storm! UV levels will be about what we experience in DC in the height of summer.
....and last but not least, there's Kathmandu. Not surprisingly, from a temperature perspective, it's somewhere between New Delhi and Lhasa with day time temps hovering in the high 70'sF and night time lows in the mid 50'sF. Humidity levels can be high, giving Kathmandu an almost "tropical" feel but I think it should be comfortable. UV levels are slightly higher than New Delhi.
So, one big challenge of this trip will be to pack clothes to accomodate for a 60F differential in temperature - to make it through the height of day in New Delhi and the low of night in Llhasa. I'm pretty certain I'll need to bring along winter clothing - maybe a vest to wear atop my fleece jacket for the cold nights in Tibet - and maybe even a hat and a pair of gloves. At the other extreme, I need to figure out how to stay cool at midday in India - especially taking into account that Indian custom frowns upon exposing one's legs so wearing shorts is out of the question.
It's going to be interesting to see what I end up taking with me on this trip! I'll either bring along exactly what I need or I will end up having to buy stuff as I go along because I don't have the proper clothing with me!