|I can't resist sharing|
Sometimes the present just plops itself down in all its going-to-the playground, holding-new-baby, joyful busy-ness--even during this journey into the past.
But now we are home--and ready to leave the Chang Tang again.
June 6, Day 20, 5:30 p.m. Beijing time
|Jinpa, cook, Mr. Lee, Heinrich|
|A last look at Shangri-la|
|stopping to say good-bye|
Well, this is the day we left the Chang Tang. We got up around 7:00, drank coffee [the instant, pre-sweetened, pre-lightened that had come to taste good. I saved a couple of packets but have not drunk them, yet], tea or our drink of choice, ate rice soup, and began to pack up our stuff.
It was a beautiful morning on the Chang Tang--bright, clear, a little cold. The hills were their beautiful shading of green and brown. And the chiru and the kiang (my two favorites) came out to say good-bye. For all it's beauty and magic I am not sorry to be leaving. I want to get back to my life.
Jinpa and Mr. Lee found the road out of the Aru Basin--I don't know how--and all went well for a while. Then we lost the cook. I guess he follows so far behind so he doesn't have to eat our dust. But it means that he doesn't always know when we make a turn. Eventually Jinpa and Mr. Lee found him and caught up with him. Mr. Lee gave him a regular tongue lashing [in Chinese, so I didn't know the exact words but the meaning was unmistakeable].
|painted chiru skull|
Then we continued driving. Heinrich spotted the only female chiru I have seen in this trip. She lay convulsing in a ditch, dying. It looked as though she had been hit by a car or truck. Sad.
|entrance sign to the Chang Tang|
We stopped at the entrance sign to the Chang Tang Nature Preserve for a picture. Also stopped when Mr. Lee found a mattress by the side of the road. He rolled it up and tossed it in the car.
[At the lodging] they gave us each 2 huge thermoses of hot water. I used an entire thermos to wash my hair, my face, etc. and soak my feet. Then I found clean clothes. It does feel good to be a bit cleaner.
At 6:30 p.m. we eat. I'm eager to hear what Jinpa has learned about the baby.
8:22 p.m. Beijing time. Baby is good. Even ate a little tsampa [barley flour and water balls].
I find myself regretting that the journey is almost over, perhaps regretting it more this time, in the comfort of my house, in my own life, than I did when I was so ready to get back to my life. Spending so much time with my journal and with these photos has made me very aware of what a remarkable place Tibet is--and how fortunate I was to be able to see it.