Into the depths of river country and back out again: Another bus ride

This entry got away from me.  Details mixed together in time so that my accuracy of place was distorted.  The whole story proved itself to be false – broke down – and was deleted.  Now I’m only left with images, clear mental snapshots picked out of the blur of a spectator’s window:

Another bus ride, driving out of the golden light of Lithang on a crisp morning

Huge mountain passes over 5600 meters (18,370ft) so that our heads were dipped in to the clouds

Cresting the pass

High plateaus covered in a million boulders and blanketed with a thick soup of fog

Boulder plateau in the fog

down DOWN DOWN in to the depths of river country in the canyons below

descending in to river country

A small bridge-town in the deep bottom of the canyon; the mighty river Yalong; another intersection of the ancient lands of Tibet and the modern capitalist engine of China

intersection

A transition to desert terrain as we climb out the other side

More noble Tibetan houses, not white-washed as before but now dressed in bare desert stone

Khampa houses dressed in desert stone

Returning again to high alpine valleys with steep smooth grassy mountains all around

A quick flash of Gongga Shan, 3rd highest peak in the world outside Himalaya/Karakoram, as the steep valleys come briefly in to alignment

Gongga Shan (Mount Gongga) in the background

Eagles climbing thermals and soaring the valley

‘The Lovesong of Kangding’ written on the hill in white stones

‘The Lovesong of Kangding’ written in stone, near the pass

One final summit before beginning the descent down to the city of Kangding in the deep cleft of the mountains below

Kangding City

And at last the Zhilam Hostel in Kangding – a true respite and sanctuary from which to re-organize

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