We popped open our tent door at 6am, the moon is still high up in the sky and the clouds are pinkish from the sunrise – it was very beautiful. But we were still tired, so we just went back into our cozy sleeping bag! At around 8am, we were waken up by the yelling outside of two little nomad boys that live in the mountains with their families.
Us: “Good morning.” (not in a pleasant mood being waken up by yelling outside).
Boys: “Trekking pole, can you give?”
Us: “Uhhh, no. If we gave them to you what would we use?”
*boys walk away*
These kids may be cute, but they’ve got a very different way of interacting with people. It takes some getting used to, then you realize they aren’t mean or anything, that’s just the way they are.
We packed up our gear and headed back to the gate. This time, we took the other route! The sun was with us the whole time, and this side of the lake actually has trails, as that’s where tourists ride horses in/out of the lake area. We sorta figured out why nobody wanted to take us trekking through the mountains, it was because this is the height of tourist season and you have families taking the trip in for a day. We saw at least 5 different groups of families being taken in/out of the mountains by horses. Lots of money with much less work! Of course nobody would take us deep into the valley….
This route has more trails, but it was a few km further away. Not sure whether it was the lack of oreos + beef jerky, but I was feeling gassed pretty quickly. Despite actually having something to walk on, it still took us the same amount of time as yesterday! The first thing we did back at the entrance… order two cup noodles + a coke!!
We hailed a cab to our next destination, 200km away. The clouds seemed to have followed us, as it started hailing again halfway through our drive. Weather can get pretty unpredictable in and around mountain ranges…. And once we got to our destination, the rain followed us here again!!!!!! Bad luck.
Note: Staying in the town of Aba. This region has a LOT of Tibetan monasteries, and also a lot of ‘rowdy’ people. It is the last place in China to be opened to tourists from HK/Macau/TW….back in 2006! Generally, just not a peaceful area (some monks protested with self immolation a couple day ago)…It is recommended by the Lonely Planet not to stay outside after sunset, so we headed back to our hotel right away after dinner before it got dark (and hailing again).