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On Two Feet or Four?

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Early in the morning, which was becoming the theme for our travels through China, Chris and I boarded our bus from Xiahe to Langmusi, another small Tibetan town featuring a monastery and beautiful scenery. The leg room, astoundingly, was quite good on this bus, and we comfortably settled in for the 4 hour drive. The scenery continued to keep us entertained,and as our bus rumbled along the hilly roads, we chatted to a nice French couple, Julie and Guillaume, about their travels in China. We exchanged stories and told them about the horse festival, which they regrettably missed. Unlike many bus journeys, the time flew by along with the numerous peaks and valleys outside. We arrived in Langmusi uneventfully and without a warning, with no signs or characteristics to show us that the journey had ended. We walked around the small town and looked for accomodation, searching in vain for a guesthouse that apparently doesn’t exist anymore. We finally settled on the first one we went to, and for less than half the price of a double room in their new wing, we had a dorm room to ourselves with comfy beds and less than clean floors. Julie and Guillaume had a room down the hall from us, so we arranged to meet them a popular cafe for lunch, where we hoped to get some information about travels to the next stop on our itinerary, to where there was no direct bus. The small town of Langmusi was surrounded by beautiful and unique scenery on every side. Facing one side was a huge red plateau similar to the scenery I saw in Australia at Kakadu, while on two other sides huge hills, or possibly they were mountains now, displayed rocky formations out of the ground known as the Stone Forest. The last side showed small hills in comparison, but was built with small homes and temples for the monastery in town. It was a bright clear day and we were looking forward to doing some exploring in the surrounding hills. But first was lunch, and at the small cafe, famous for its enormous Big Yak Attack burgers, we chatted with Julie and Guillaume about their next plans, and we agree to find some transport together to Songpan, the next town we wanted to visit. [read on]