We are in Xiangcheng,

Trip Start May 07, 2006
Trip End Jun 17, 2006

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Xiangcheng, Western Sichuan Province

Hi everyone,

Everything is going well as you can see by our pictures. We are just about the only tourist in this area.

Our photos and videos cannot do justice to the scenery. Sometime it is like the old Alison Restaurant song. One side of the road is a mountain, the other side, nonthon.

We have been going over mountain passes of over 4500 meters. Mimi took O2 at the 4768 meters pass, about 15700 feet. She is like an altimeter, bright and happy below 4000 meters but not so good over 4000 meters. We are over 4000 meters for an hour or two as we go over a mountain. We have been staying in small villages around 3500 meters. 3500 is about the elevation of Lhasa and we are getting use to the thin air so it is not so bad.

Our cell phone works most places so tell mom that she can call me if she wants.

Tomorrow we are going to Zhongdian in North Western Yunnan province to get my visa extended. We will be going to what the Chinese call the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) a few days after that.

Tibetans consider most of the areas we have been as part of Tibet. In fact, this area was the area of fearsome fighting when the PRC 'Liberated' Tibet.

The movie, "7 Years in Tibet" shows a Tibetan official sabotaging Tibet's defenses to gain political favor with the PRC. It was felt if he didn't do this, Tibet still could not stop the Chinese but could slow the invasion, especially at the mountain passes. This would give time for world opinion to stop the Chinese. Maybe not, at the time Tibet fell, only El Salvador sponsored a UN motion to condemn Chinese aggression. Britain and newly independent India, traditional friends of Tibet, convinced the UN not to debate the issue for fear of Chinese disapproval.
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