One bus ride to another world

Trip Start Jan 09, 2010
Trip End Apr 20, 2010

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Saturday, March 6, 2010

After finishing Tiger Leaping Gorge, flagged down the 5 30 pm bus to from Qiatotou to Shangri La. Soon climbed up on to a high plateau, and contined climbing to Shangri La at 3200m Snow still lying in the shaded slopes. The town has grown from tiny to 120 000 people in about 10 years. But still have cows and pigs walking throught the streets. I was a bit lost, as usual, when you arrive ina new town. A 4 x 4 dropped off a western traveler at the bus stop. Guessing she had come from a western friendly guest house, I asked, and sure enough the driver was the owner of the guest house where I wanted to stay. So that was all easy.
Pleased to get a shower after all the dust on the lower road of Tiger Gorge. The room is pretty fresh, no heating, but an electric blanket makes the bed cosy.
Today I awoke to gentle snow fall. Nothing lying on the ground though as it melts and evaporates in this very dry air. After a look round the old town, I rented a mountain bike, and headed to Napa Hai, a small lake and wet area of the grass lands. Amazing landscape, flat wide grasslands. Sadly the 5500m peaks were hidden under the cloud. Huge Tibetan farm houses made from rock, mud and wood. Yaks, pigs and ponys. Black necked cranes in the marsh along with geese. Vultures cirling above. Cycling at this altitude I felt good.  
My plan was to go to Deqin, even higher, and near 6500m peaks. But with the weather I would not see anything. And at the moment the 4000m pass is closed. My other plan to head to the Sichuan  might not be feasable either as this route climbs to over 4000m too.
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Gill Alleyne on

Amazing - makes my family trip to Fort William a little tame lol xxxx

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