Next Stop, Ganze

Well the drive to Kangding (spelled it wrong before) was great. Paved well most of the way but super windy. Luckily Alison is wearing a motion sickness patch and sitting in the front seat. We stopped in a small town for lunch and had the best won ton soup I have ever had. There must have been 20 won tons in my bowl alone. It was accompanied by some chicken swimming in a sauce of Sichuan fire oil and peppers! Yowza! It was great! The best is that the locals spit the chicken bones right out onto the table or the floor. This explains why the floor was so slippery when we came in!

We stayed at the lovely Love Song Hotel. The walk along the street that afternoon brought on a lot of strange looks by the locals. One little girl walked up to Ali and said in perfect English “what is your name?”. They are amazed by her blonde hair. 

We spent the night and were up at 3:30 to get on the road by 4:30 am. There is massive construction on the road to Ganze. Let me say massive road construction does not describe the condition of this one lane mountain road that climbs from 8,000 ft elevation to 12,000 ft elevation with NO GUARD RAILS IN PITCH BLACK DARKNESS! Do you get the feeling? Dirt road, tons of trucks, one lane, crazy driver. If I were a better Catholic I would have been saying Hail Marys and Our Fathers the entire way. Finally on the crest of the mountain we reached pavement! Halleujah! But no it only lasted for about 2 miles. What a cruel joke! Back to dirt. Now this dirt road had a little something extra added in for us just to spice up the drive…so many potholes and rocks my insides felt like a 007 martini, shaken not stirred. 

We finally made it into Tibet. The sun rose over the mountains at about 6:45 to reveal that the scenery changed. Where our drive was once lined with mountain walls, the rising sun now unveiled lush hillsides speckled with yaks

  and their nomadic keeper’s encampments. It took us 4 and a half hours to see a village. The Buddhist prayer flags lined our route that at times looked like Tahoe on a beautiful summer day.

We stopped for lunch in a small town. This time we ate spare ribs (probably Yak) and potatoes in the spicy Sichuan sauce, some sort of zucchini type vegetable, broccoli leaves, rice and tea. The Chinese harvest their broccoli before it flowers and when the stalks are thin, sweet and tender. All of this for 48 RMB (about $7) for four of us. Kind of makes it seam ridiculous to spend $5 for a Starbucks coffee doesn’t it? Then back in the car for the last leg of our trek to Ganze. Finally after 13 hours we arrived at Ganze.