The regulations on the issue of Tibet Travel Permits are becoming more stringent by the day at the moment. This may or may not cause an issue on this trip. As these things can change with alarming rapidity, it is too early to tell. There is always a "Plan B", it is just that I haven't got one yet! So, it is back to the maps to work out an alternative route should the Tibetan option prove impossible.
Meanwhile, the gathering of visas continues. I went to the Uzbek consulate to find it locked and closed for a national holiday. So, it was off to see the Kyrgyz the next day instead. At first, I thought that it was closed as well as it appeared to be deserted. The visa section is in the basement and even though an outer door was open; it only led to a cupboard sized room with two locked doors leading off it. I knocked on these doors with no reponse; before finally spotting a doorbell outside the outer (open) door. I rang, heard a bit of distant shuffling before a hatch in one of the doors flew open to reveal a slightly startled looking Kyrgyz man. I gave him my application form, cheque and passport and he gave me a collection ticket. I was No.2; although whether I was No.2 that day, week or month wasn't clear.
Anyway, I went back a few days later to find the visa "office" as deserted as before and my passport and visa waiting for me. Easiest, most hassle free visa so far. I think I will like Kyrgystan!
Then went straight on to the Uzbek consulate for visa number four. Much busier than the Kyrgyz (how could it be less?), still only had to wait about half an hour. A word of warning though: turn your phone off before joining the queue! The guy in front of me was, silently, playing a game on his phone (not even texting or phoning). When he got to the front, the woman behind the counter refused to serve him citing a "no phones" sign on the wall. A shouting match ensued, which the guy had no chance of winning; he eventually re-joined the back of the queue with his phone firmly off.