Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tibetan horse festival continued

Please excuse me, I am on my tab and it's sometimes quicker than I am:)

ast the horse fair I was able to witness spectacular horsemanship. The riders would go to one side of the horse, you couldn't see them from the far side. On more than oe igation I thought the rider had fallen off because I couldn't secede him, only to see him pop up 10 seconds later on the other side of the horse. They would lean completely over to the ground abd try to pick up prayer scarves with cokes arranged to them! I also watched people shoot arrows while riding both on the horse normally and while leaning over to the one side! Lastly some riders were riding bareback. It was an amazing display of talent and the atmosphere made it one of the most memorable parts if my trip so far.

I am off now to get sone sleep before catching a bus for 27 hours to uliastai, mongolia in the morning. I hope to trek and camp and see a golden eagle festival in the next 6 weeks! I'll be away from internet for awhile but I'll try to be better about blogging when I get back.

Tibetan horse festival

Words, or at least my words, can't do justice describing the amazing and beautiful sights I have been able to see in the last month or so. After leaving malaysia I flew to china and that evening again enjoyed the delights of chinese sleeper buses. as before, when nathan and I took overnight buses, I realized I do not quite fit into chinese size sleeper buses! However, I arrived safely in lijang the next morning only slightly worse for wear. The city of lijang is, as I soon learned, like many chinese historical sights. It seems when china discovers tourist are interested in a beautiful historical region, they tear it down and rebuild new buildings to look like the old ones. Add a few discos, night clubs, a few hundred souvenir stalls and a couple thousand chinese tourist and ta-da, the city is complete. Nonetheless, looking past all of this, lijang was beautiful and I discovered the most delicious yak yogurt.

From lijang I went to tiger leaping gorge. Did a pleasant 2 day trek through the gorge before continuing north. Saw, and walked on, my first glacier. It was a tough 4 hour hike up the mountain, but well worth it. From here, I made it to litang, the reason I came back to china in the first place. Although they wouldn't sell us bus tickets initially, we were finally able to get a guest house to purchasethem for us. they claim that the roads are too bad for tourist, but I think it is actually because it is so close to tibet and the gov didn't like tourist to get too close without being supervised. litang was an amazing town. Everyone was dressed in traditional tibetan clothes, spoke tibetan (not mandarin), and was so nice.
In the morning we headed to the horse fair. We were told to just follow the people and we would be able to find where to go. By following this advice, we ended up in a wedding procession to the temple! Watched the 5 minute ceremony and was then invited upstairs in the temple for the reception. I took a quick look around the temple but didn't want to miss the horse races so I didn't stay long. Finally found the horse races, wow. It was spectacular. - there were maybe 100 horses or so, but they were elaborately decorated with ribbons in their tail and mane. I watched as riders, all dressed in full tibetan outfits

In the morning