Heading west to Tibetan territory
Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
19Trip End Jan 03, 2007
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Booked back into our fave courtyard room and enjoyed a day of reading and blogging in the big wicker chairs on the beautiful wide verandahs.
We share some quite enchanting and funny times with the local girls when we need to resort to charades in the markets when we want to buy something.
We've decided you need to spend some time with the Chinese to really appreciate them, the women are especially nice, and really quite naive.
Remember when we were all kids and our mothers told us to eat up all our food, "think of all the starving people in China", well, they knew from shit, cause these people are the biggest wasters of food, they throw a huge amount away, very rarely do they ever finish the huge amount they order. But they sure know how to grow vegies, and they are always so fresh.
Do you know what the locals do on a Sunday? They ALL take their karaoke machines to the People's Park and let rip with these god-awful noises they call singing.... we threw money at them to beg them to stop, but it only encouraged the canaries.
4th Oct and it's our 10th anniversary and this morning Rog woke me with a single red carnation clenched between his teeth, mumbling Happy Anniversary.
We'll probaby celebrate tonight with some deep fried chicken feet and a side serve of something still wriggling on a skewer.
In 2 days it'll be Rog's 69th Birthday, he seems to think it's not a bad position to be in, but our GPS position will be somewhere in Western Sichuan, probably Kangding, enroute to Litang, near the Tibetan border. We leave tomorrow and expect to take a week before we reach Zhongdian in Yunnan Province.
5th Oct :
It had to be raining, didn't it? And we had to post a parcel home and China Post won't accept anything other than their own cartons, so we had a last minute rush to get that done then get to the Xiananmen Bus Station where we bought tickets for the 10am bus to Luding for Y101 each.
The road follows the raging river most of the way, and although landslides had closed half the road in a lot of places, and EVERYONE overtakes on bends, we made it! At one place the sheer drop was at least 1000 feet and we were only feet from it, looking down. The mind goes into overdrive and you say a silent prayer for the continuation of your wellbeing.
The river rages so much it's like a horizontal waterfall, and they don't have a shortage of water or power stations.
Between Ya'an and Luding there's a tunnel about 2k long, which has sliced a substantial amount of time off the journey, but it still took 6 hours to do the few hundred kilometre trip.
There were no private cars in this country 20 years ago, but there's plenty now, and they are selling 1000 cars a day in Beijing alone; so the roads are awash with cars and bloody hopeless drivers. We came around one blind corner, and there were 2 cars abreast coming towards us, no time for the overtaking vehicle to slip back behind the other car, so the bus just split the 2 of them, one each side of us... I mumbled "shiiiit".
Descending into Luding is beautuiful, terraced mountainsides full of vegie gardens, and a river bed of stones along the banks. Got a nice clean cheap room with a view of the river and mountains for Y80 ($17). The Luding Bridge is a swingbridge with very grand gateways on the approaches; lots of history here from Mao's Long March.