Sunday, November 4, 2012

The One With Western Sichuan And A Failed Backpacking Trip

I took a trip a while ago to western Sichuan.  I don't have time to write about it, but it was fun––for the most part.  Bus rides that were supposed to take 8 hours took upwards of 15.  Hiring a driver turned out to be a chaotic experience that took me over the bumpiest roads and into secluded nomadic camps.  Sometimes the only place to camp was cement or worse.

It wasn't the most photogenic trip, but there was a lot of great scenery.  I traveled in with my friend Karen to meet a group of other volunteers that were coming from up north.  Our backpacking plans kind of fizzled out with the rain.

When there were blue skies it was beautiful, but I'll remember our driver, a Tibetan, who took Karen, myself and two Chinese people for an hour in his car to another city; then, when the Chinese got out of the car, he eagerly started talking to me about the Dalai Lama.  "I wouldn't dare speak about him to them," he told me, later shrugging off my disappointment when I found out among the entire police force in those Tibetan areas, there are no Tibetans with a badge.

I felt like I traveled all over and saw everything, until I returned home and looked at a map.  The place is enormous.

There's more to say and more to discover, but for now here are some pictures.

Kangding, the city I was traveling in, is really well known for the "Love Song of Kangding."

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