When we last left off we were spending some quality time hiking around the hills of Songpan in Sichuan Province. Our next stop on the journey was a small stopover town called Zoige (Ruo’ergai in Tibetan). Wrapped up in here is a story about how we almost got stranded in the middle of nowhere with no money because ATMs out in the aforementioned middle-of-nowhere aren't as reliable as in, say, Shanghai (go figure). I won't bore you all with the story now, but if you see me on the street ask me about it and I'll recant the whole tale. I love telling stories, especially if they are about me *smiley face emoji*!
We were only slated to stay in Zoige for one night and hadn't booked a place to stay so when we got there we had to find a place for the night. Fortunately it was pouring down rain so the search, carrying backpacks in a very unfamiliar place where you don't really speak the language, was less than ideal. We found a place, stinky bathroom, and then set off to explore the town a bit. Because of the rain, and since I am a bad photographer, I didn't bring my camera with me (don't ever do that!) which turned out to be a big mistake. As we were walking the rain broke right as we came up on a small monastery on the edge of town. This was our first experience with a Tibetan Buddhist monastery so we were a bit shy at first. But, we were allowed to just walk around, peek in doors, and check out the grounds and the only looks we got were smiles from the monks. Right then we made the decision to come back the next morning cameras in tow.
Cut to "the next morning." The monastery in Zoige, on an overcast, drizzly morning:
On our way back to collect our things from the hotel, we ran across some street vendors, one selling fish and the other selling pork, right one the side of the road. Sanitary!
Oh and since we were Tibet, they do sometimes use an alternate mode of transportation.
After our early morning exploring, we headed to the town square and bartered for a ride to the next town on the list, Langmusi (Lhamo). On the way we wanted to stop at a place I had read about called HuaHu (Flower Lake). I knew it was still a little early up here for flowers (middle of July and all) but it was on the way and it was supposed to be beautiful so we went. We paid a guy 350 Yuan (a little less than $60) to take us the 90ish km and to wait for us for a couple hours while we explored the lake.
It was sprinkling again when we got there which actually wasn't too bad because it probably thinned out the crowds. I will never forget one woman though. She showed up in a mini skirt and 3" high heels to stand in the rain and look at the lake, mind you it was about 50 degrees F. As expected there were no flowers yet, but there was a nice assortment of ducks, shorebirds and such.
With our stop completed we met back up with our driver and continued on to Langmusi, The starting point for our horse trek with Tibetan nomads. But that is a story for another time.
Until next time,
Don't forget, you can always find many of these photographs and more for sale on my website HERE.
And, here are those links to the previous installments if you don't feel like scrolling back up.