Trip Start Dec 26, 2003
94Trip End Mar 28, 2005
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Day 1 was pleasant enough. 4 hours of riding uphill to our first camp stop, arriving about 1.30pm.
Day 2 was a joke, we rode from about 10.30-12.30 and that was it. I was bored in the afternoon, there was nothing to do except hang around. Days 1 & 2 could easily have been combined, of course this would have reduced the monopoly operator's profits by 25% & he was obviously into maximising profits. This was quite a shame as what was obviously a 3 day trip, and could have been a very enjoyable one, was rather desperately stretched to 4 days. I was very grumpy this afternoon & it quite negatively affected my view of the whole trip
Another problem was that I had recently done such spectacular things: I saw far better mountain scenery in Yubeng & better lamaseries & nicer Tibetans in Litang. So this trip had some major competition.
Day 3 was the highlight of the trip. Once the horsemen had eventually found the horses they had lost overnight, which was 11am, we rode for 2 hours up to the ice lake, which was impressive, it was a small shame we didn't get to see it in better weather. We arrived at some scree, where we couldn't see the lake from as it was still above us. one of the horsemen was so lazy, he couldn't be bothered to walk us up to the lake, so he told us it didn't exist. We found it easy enough.
The most pleasant part of the 4 days was the 4 hour meander down back to the camp, with its mountain views & pleasant locals which I made with a Dutch couple & no horsemen. I arrived back at camp happy and contented.
When I got up at 6am on day 4 to take some sunrise over the snow capped mounatin shots I walked straight out of camp to a place I had noticed on day 3. My 15 year old looking horseman came running after me panting that I must go back to camp (at 6am!!!!) The horsemen that had struggled to get up on the other days of the trip couldn't get themselves & us up fast enough. I made it clear that I was going to enjoy the sunrise & take some pictures. Unfortunately, my horseman decided to accompany me & spent his time coughing his guts up as he was so unfit & had had to run after me.
We left camp at about 8.30 & rode back to Songpan in about 6 hours. I know many people have had good experiences in Songpan, so I guess we might have been quite unlucky.