Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bus Ride on the Tibetan Plateau

February 8, 2010
With the blast of a Tibetan musical wail, with cigarette smoke in the air, and while wearing 4 layers of clothing, our bus took off from *Shangri-La to travel across the Tibetan plateau through the mountains that separate the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan to arrive 8 hours later in Xiang Cheng.  Our  bus windows rattled the whole way crescending into an extreme forte as we hit the high pass traveling 4 hours on a dirt rocky road with a panorama view of rocky grey mountain peaks (10-14,000 ft) at eye level through the windows.
We traveled from grassy yellow plains littered with log cabins and two story massive Tibetan wooden houses that had hundred year old tree trunks as columns like the old Southern plantations through the usually closed snowy mountain pass of evergreens arriving in the high desert of California surrounded by hills with scattered green bushes or maybe arriving into Mexico or South America with white washed 3-story mesa houses made out of mud and men and women wearing cowboy-hats and long skirts with colorful aprons. 
Had we left China?  Maybe we had because there was a distinct language barrier, a mixture of Tibetan and the Sichuan dialect rendering my Chinese pretty useless.
* Shangri-La's original name is Zhong Dian.  In 2002 the Chinese government approved a name change, to boost tourism?

No comments: