Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Third Day in China

On our third day we flew to Huanglong.  There are more Tibetans living here than anywhere except Tibet.  Our 8:50 a.m. flight was delayed a couple of hours.  Fortunately  we weren’t on the 6:40 a.m. flight, which took off only a few minutes before ours.  Getting up at 4:00 a.m. to sit in the airport for hours would have been much worse than getting up at 6:00 a.m. like we did.
The highlight of this day was to see multi-colored lakes behind a temple at the top of a mountain.  We took a cable car part of the way up, and then went on a 2.5 kilometer walk to the temple.  Aleena was really tired, so I ended up carrying her on my shoulders for a good part of the walk.

We were as high as 4,000 meters on this day.  The air is a lot thinner, and we had some oxygen bottles in case someone became short of breath.  

Our tour guide Michael was very enthusiastic.  He taught himself English, learning from backpackers over the years.  Overall he wasn’t bad, but I was pretty frustrated him at one point.  When we got near the temple, it was a three hundred meter walk up some steps.  Michael said that we could go up, and that he would wait for us.  
Tim and I didn’t realize that there were the colored waters behind the temple.  We walked up and saw the temple, and then walked back down.  The kids were really tired at this point.  When we got back down to Michael, then he told us about the waters.  I really didn’t want to take the kids back up to the top, as we still had a 4.5 kilometer walk down.  Our flight delay meant that the cable car was closed by the time we were ready to go back down.
Tim really wanted to go back up, so I started the trip back down, while she, Sine and Michael went up to the top.  I probably should have had Sine stay with the kids and went up with Tim, but it wasn’t a big deal.  The kids were actually pretty good on the walk down.  Before we got to the bottom, Tim and the others had caught up to us.
The worse part of our whole trip was the van ride to the hotel.  It was snowing, the roads were winding, and Tim and Aleena had really bad headaches.  They may have been suffering from altitude sickness of some sort.  The ride was three hours, and we felt ever second of it.
By the time we got back to the hotel at 9:00 p.m., everyone was exhausted.  Only Sine and I went down to eat dinner.  We stayed in the Intercontinental Chengdu, which I believe has a thousand rooms.  
Here are some photos from our adventures that day.  








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