A bit of advice: If you get a bad cold, don't come up to 10,000 feet above sea level. That's what I have done and it's not pleasant. The altitude alone is OK but when you can't breathe through your nose it's horrendous. I didn't have a good nights sleep last night as a result.
We are in Shangri-La near the border with Tibet. The culture is pure Tibetan here and the landscape is scattered with Yaks and horses. However, the romantic image of this place is slightly different from the reality. Everywhere seems to be a building site. It doesn't help that the old town burnt down 2 years ago, however they are making commendable progress restoring it although it has lost some of its ramshackle charm.
The hotel we are staying in is located next to a large monastery that houses 800 monks. We visited it this morning in glorious clear sunny weather. It was most interesting. It was restored by the government after being trashed in Mao's cultural revolution.
We visited lake Napa which, like all the lakes that our guides have excitedly shown us, isn't a patch on the Cumbrian equivalents. The prairie-like landscape however is interesting and I have blipped a couple of horses drinking with a white crane in the background.
My extras show the other activity that we undertook today which was to visit a Tibetan family in their home and 'enjoy' Yaks butter tea with them. It was actually better than we expected. A bit like slightly salty warm condensed milk with a vague hint of tea. (I'm not selling it well, am I?) The accompanying pastries and Yaks cheese were also tasty (although maybe my cold dulled the taste)
The Tibetans have enormous kitchens which form the heart of the house. A fire keeps water hot with the smoke rising through a hole in the roof (attractively lit by sun beams).
An interesting, if rather uncomfortable day
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III