I don’t so much wake up as become conscious of how much agony I am in. It’s hard to know whether it’s the Baijo (rice wine) or the scrunched up position I adopted in order to wedge my frozen numb limbs into any warm crevice on Joes body. Last night was the coldest i have ever been. Ever. There’s no way we’re going to be able to sleep in the roof tent when the temperature drops into the minuses, the howling wind that blew off the mountains last night made me adamant about this.

I descend the ladder and look out over the lake, the hills and the fields of yurts and then to the Tibeten bloke in a long army style coat sitting in our camping chair. Moments like that make everything worthwhile. He smiles seeing me, now assured that none of us died during the cold, cold night, then jumps on a motor bike laden with blankets and scoots off across the plains.

After a lazy morning taking in the beauty of the lake from our campsite, we spend the afternoon wandering through the halls of the unfortunately named Kumbum monestary – a massive Tibeten monestary - one of only a handful that survived the Cultural Revolution, then back to Xining to spend a night in a godsent warm cosy hostel. Camping certainly makes you appreciates the comfortable life...