I got in the minivan and headed to Tagong after breakfast. Godamn the road was bumpy! Definitely smacked my head so many times on the roof. As we drove, the weather looked better and better with blue skies in the distance which really put a smile on my face. After about 4 hours, I reached Tagong and the weather was amazing! It was sunny and peaking with blue skies. I was really worried that my headache would come back and that maybe there was snow but as I arrived, I knew it was going to be fine. All the disappointment and negativity from the past few days were instantly wiped away. Its amazing how sometimes little things such as good weather can restore hope in your journey and boost your morale to keep travelling despite a change in course.
As I got out of the minivan, Drolma immediate got off ther bench and was already approaching us to usher us to her guesthouse. As she walked closer she remembered me and said ”you’ve returned!” and I guess she was as glad to see me as I was to see her.
I was just peaking and couldn’t stop smiling. After dropping off my bags, I headed straight to the Tagong Supermarket to say hi to Ba Ding. I had a huge smile on my face and when Ba Ding saw me, so did he. He screamed out my name from afar, came out from behind the counter and gave me a hug! It was definitely better than the hug I got from Dad immediately after I found out I scored a grad job =P He invited me to join him for lunch with his friends in the restaurant next door and it was great! There were 4 dishes of various vegies and one huge tub of yak meat. Yak meat is apparently really expensive and is very special to Tibetans. You dip the chunks of cooked meat in chilli powder before you eat it. It was rather tough and overcooked and basically tasted like beef.
Across the road, I noticed a team of about 5 pilgrims prostrating along the road. They told me off for trying to take a picture =P They made their way from Xinduqiao to the Tagong monastery by prostrating after every 3 steps. Ba Ding says it would have taken them a few weeks …. Now that’s dedication for you.
I returned to my dorm and some asian dude was there. We had a chat and he turns out to be a pretty cool guy. He’s also travelling alone across Sichuan, mainly hitch hiking and he’s been to some really cool places not listed in Lonely Planet and taken some amazing photos, I’m so jealous!
So if the weather holds up tomorrow morning, we’re going to wake up for the sunrise and hopefully get some cool shots tomorrow of Mt. Yala, the snowcapped mountain seen in the distance. Definitely fingers crossed for the weather tomorrow cause I want to stay overnight with the nomads!
I have noticed throughout my journey in Western Sichuan, Tibetan people and Tibetan houses have a funky smell. A bit like how Indians smell like curry, Tibetans smell like yak cheese … Not the best smell in the world. Especially when you sit next to a Tibetan in a minivan, combined with their infrequent showers and rarely washed clothes, you can definitely smell the funk and when you get out of the van, you too come out smelling like a Tibetan =P
I popped out for a quick dinner. This is called cao shou, sort of like dumplings but wrapped differently and really yum.
Posted by Wordmobi