Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Kangwo Shan

Kangwo Shan, originally uploaded by mutikonka.

"Zou Ba!" (Let's Go!) were the words of Wang Qi on a bright
Monday morning. True to his word, there was a Landcruiser parked
outside the hotel, loaded with supplies for a family visit. Also
crammed inside the car were his wife Pema and his 20 year old
daughter Namu, a medical student in Chengdu. She had died bronze hair
and a face like a serene Tibetan Buddha, and she relentlessly teased
her father as we set off up the road to the Yangwe Kong valley.
"A-ba - will they have a horse big enough to carry you up the
hill" she sniggered. Later on she hummed songs and practised
counting up to a hundred in the local Tibetan dialect:
"Dali, Nali, Songli ..."

It didn't seem like we were setting off on an expedition to find a
lost mountain.
"Have you got my handbag? asked Pema in the back. "I've got
something special for Aunty Mera in it"

The road followed the familiar dirt track that went up to Wuxu Hai at
first, but then split off to the west up a much rougher track. As we
ascended up to what Joseph Rock called the Druderon Pass I clung on
tightly to the handles inside the car, but still could not avoid
being bumped and bruised as the Landcruiser rocked and bounced
There was little to see in the valley - fir trees and some old water
races diverted to turn water wheels in little shacks tht were use to
grind corn. But no sign of human habitation.

Then we neared the pass and rose above the tree line, the landscape
could have been Scotland - brown moorland and an alpine tarn - and
the imposing bulk of a grey limestone peak which Wang Qi told me was
called Kangwo Shan.

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