Day 4 and I feel good. The headache is gone, but my legs are pretty tired from the hike up yesterday. I stopped by Zhilam hostel next door to find out the best transport option toward Yushu. There, not only did I receive lots of great info, I met Patru, whom I had met previously at GouZhuang Inn, and also Gyaltso, who is the host at the hostel. Kris popped in too, the owner of Zhilam, and he recalled our brief meeting in the Tibetan Quarter of Chengdu, when we were trading spots in a taxi, last month. Gyaltso and Patru offered me tons of useful info: where to catch a shared car to Daofu and Jang Gu/Zhaddo/Luhou, hostels in the some of the towns I will visit, a map of the grasslands I’ve tried to find twice, and where to find the trailhead up Paoma Shan. Now I feel a bit more settled because I know how to get around; my trip to Yushu might not be so rushed. I still have to overnight in Janggu/Zheddo before stopping in Ganzi or Manigango due to elevation increases. In order to acclimatize easily, sleeping elevation should not be increased by more than 500m per night when 3000m is reached.
I’ve also had reconfirmed how useless the Lhasa dialect, which is what is offered on ALL online sites as well as in guidebooks, is! Kham dialect is completely different from Lhasa dialect, so whatever I pronounce from my Lonely Planet phrasebook is completely lost on the Tibetans here in Dartsendo and further northwest!
I am enjoying an omelette and lei cha. The omelette is delicious, thought it feels odd to eat Western food when I have been enjoying so much local cuisine! The menu here is primarily Western, which I am sure all the foreigners that stay here appreciate. I’ll request a bit more info from Gyaltso, then be on my way. My plan is to head into New Kangding today, walking for as many hours as possible to continue to build my endurance and strength.
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Gina The Great in the country of The Great Wall!