Thursday, March 29, 2007

Checking in From Sichuan

We are only on day two of this trip to sichuan and it feels like we've been gone a lot longer. I am typing now from an internet cafe up a dark alley in a little mountain town. The place is packed, seemingly moistly with young guysplaying either very violent or very silly/childish games. Strange.

I came here to finish up some edits and a redeback on my column, which will be up in a few hours. I hope it's ok. I sort of lost track of this one with everything going on and am a little nervous about it.

Sichuan is very beautiful and kind of wild and rough around the edges. the food is delicious, spicy yes but not insane. Chengdu (capital) is a very nice, green livable-feeling city. We drove many hours up the mountains today and are now in a little town placed hard in a very narrow river valley between three big mountains. We are in a Tibetan autonomous region and that influence is strong here though not as obvious yet as it was in and around Shangri-La area.

Today we came out of a 4 km tunnel and bam there in the distance was this huge peak. It was a 7,756 meter mountain whose name escapes me. That is something like 23,000 feet. It is the Eastern edge of the HImalayas as far as I understand and it was a spectacular sight. Our guide had never seen it because it is usually fogged in.

we have 28-seat bus for 9 of us plus two guides. Strange, but makes it easier to do long drives with the kids.. and today was along drive.

More soon.. probably not until I get back to Beijing.