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Still alive and riding...

Vast Tibetan grassland at 4'000 to 4'500m
Vast Tibetan grassland at 4'000 to 4'500m

The start was tough: A beautiful day when I left Yushu but after 70km I stopped on the foot of a apparently big pass. Since I was just coming from Hong Kong (0m) stayed two days in Xining (2'400m) and another two days in Yushu (3'700m) I should still not underestimate the altitude. And after the pass who knows if it's going down or if it stays at this hight? So I made an early stopp and put up my tent already at 2 p.m. at 4'200m. In the evening I got a headache (mild symptom of mountain sickness). In the night it started raining and it didn't stop for about 24 hours. So I spent one whole day in my little tent waiting for better weather... The constant noise of rain on your tent can drive you crazy! The next morning good weather was there again and I felt well. So I started climbing the pass which turned out to be 4'700m high. So in the end it was good I spent another day aclimatising.

 

After riding over a vast green high plateau with yaks to Serxu monastery where I could spend the night in the monastery hotel. Next day continuing. One night I could put up my tent next to some Tibetan herders tent and it was a clear and cold night at 4'300m. So cold that I had snow inside my tent from my breathing the next morning. The weather getting better and better I continued to the Dzogchen Gompa Monastery somewhere in the middle of nowhere, between two high passes and on the foot of a high snow capped mountain at the very end of a glacier valley. Beautiful place! A few hundred monks practising there. I could get a bed next to the monastery and even join the monks for ceremonies. For the first time for a very long time I saw some trees again. The spot was so beautiful I spent three nights there. It was also there, where I met an other tourist for the fierst time in a week: A young French hitchhiker. So it seemed that the road was officially open for tourists and I was legal here. So far I just pased any police checkpoints without stopping and nobody ever stopped me.

 

After I continued to the wild-east town of Manigango and continued to Ganzi. Coming down from 4000m to 3400m it got remarkebly milder what I enjoyed very much. And some beautiful weather with blue sky and only few clouds. In Ganzi there was no internetacces for foreigners because of fights between Tibetans and Chinese police earlier this year. I continued the next morning from Ganzi towards Litang over a little road where there is no public transport and also very little traffic. Again the scenery changed completely and I entered a very, very narrow valley with conifertrees on the slopes and a wild river down under me. After three days in this narrow and peaceful valley I was down at 3'000m. There I took a right to a smaller side valley up and over a 4'500m pass in less than 50km! This was an uphill like hell! 50km nonstop on unpaved roads with some rivercrossings. After going down to 4'100 again, up to 4'300 and then down to the city of Litang at 4'000m again. There I am now and am planning to leave tomarrow further south to Shangri-la. The weather has just turned worse today with some rain and some thunders. Hope this will pass quickly...

 

With love from Litang...

Philipp

 

ps: thanks to picasa and several hours in internet cafes in Hong Kong and Yushu I could finally upload some fotos. Check them out here!

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Kommentare: 1
  • #1

    Peter E (Mittwoch, 21 September 2011 14:18)

    Hallo Philipp Ich wünschte, ich wär so sportlich wie du. Ich war im April/Mai auf der Route Xiahe - Songpan - Chengdu. Mit dem Bus; und wollte von da via Kanding nach Litang. Man liess mich nicht. Werde nächstes Jahr versuchen von Zhongdian nach Litang zu gelangen. Wenn du in Lijiang bist, grüsse die Leute im Garden Inn! Peter