Once again, we get into a monastery-town. The cool thing about this monastery is that, half of it is located in Sichuan province, the other is still in Gansu! Another great thing about these Buddhist towns is that, there is a strange abundance of foreign foods and people. There were 3 coffee shops within 150m of each other! I don’t think you can find 3 independent coffee shops in most large cities….
We took a hike into a gorge, and were joined by two little kids. We got to a nomad tent, which was guarded by three, very very scary dogs! The first two were chained up, but the third and most aggressive one, was in the distance and looked like he was going to break out of his chain any minute! The funny part was, each one had its own territory, so once you got past their territory they would actually ignore you and go back to sleep! Hahaha…we got past the dogs safely.
Next, we saw a bunch of goats and yaks up in the mountains, and the nomad running down yelling at us as we continued to walk. We were slightly confused and didn’t understand, and our little Tibetan translators weren’t very good with their mandarin either. Apparently, the message we got was there are wolves in the mountains! The kids looked like they were scared, and the nomad had a very skeptical look (learning to read facial expressions is key…except when they wear masks then you should get scared of getting robbed)…. it was 3pm by then and we really didn’t want to turn back after going halfway. Who’s afraid of wolves??? I told the little kids to take care of my dogs if I don’t come back…
The mountains were quite cool, above rocks you can actually see eagles (which were actually condors..more on that tomorrow) soaring high above! And we reached the end of the valley, where the mountains split into two gorges. Very nice!
On our way back, we saw a group of about 15 people sitting around the nomad tent area. They looked a bit like a group of mafia going on a picnic with an old guy in shades + hat looking calm, a more vocal and smart looking guy holding an umbrella for a younger lady, and 13 shady looking figures. We tried to walk past and ignore their undeniable presence (it’s a field, in the middle of a valley full of nothing) and then they invited us over for some watermelon! We obliged, and had a nice chat with who were actually gov’t workers. They were also extremely awesome, as on the way back they helped out cleaning up everybody’s garbage (while cursing those who did). Seriously, if everyone did their part to help out, things would be much better