This Week in Photos
We’re on our last day of a two-week sidetrip through the remote mountains of western Sichuan province, a detour prescribed by our American friends Liz and Doug as an antidote to the smoggy, anonymous Chinese cities we’d called home for the month before, each of them (slightly) different in name and climate but identical in character, or rather their startling lack of it.
An in-depth rundown of our personal trials and lessons learned and suchlike will have to wait for another day, but it’s enough to say that this trip was exactly what we’d needed. Photos are organised more-or-less chronologically-ish from March 4 onward and may take a few minutes to load:
The view out the front of the bus approaching Songpan.
Water’s edge, but which side?
Soft-focus egg market.
The wares at a local fruit market. Think 30c for a basket of strawberries.
A friendly yak.
Two horses startled mid-meal by a truck’s horn.
The same two horses eating dinner along the side of the road.
Fresh veggies, small town style.
Will looks out over the river valley after a steep climb.
The view over Danba. Photo credit Will van Engen.
The view over Songpan, leaving for a two-day horseride.
Continuing the climb. On the horse behind Will is our Parisian friend Pauline, who we spent a few days hanging out with before parting ways leaving Songpan.
Vistas behind the riders.
Will’s horse engaging in the consumption of deliciousness. Day 2 begins.
Our guide saddles his horse.
Trees and ice.
A rickshaw parked for the night.
Two Tibetan kids we befriended in Songpan. Judging by the way they received us I don’t think they’d ever seen a digital camera before.
Taking a breather from play-fighting.
Namhi, a girl we met from S. Korea, shows the kid photos of him and his friends.
Will and Namhi walking with the monks.
Watching for customers. Photo credit Will van Engen.
An open sewageway running through Danba and into the river below.
A yak a’grazing.
Will crosses a rickety suspension bridge lined with prayer flags. Photo essay coming soon.
Working in the fields.
And a well-deserved rest.
Lookout towers appear all along the river canyons in western Sichuan province, built centuries ago by the Tibetans to help ward off Chinese invaders.
One of those towers up close, managed nowadays by an old man we found working his field.
Inside the tower.
The view over Jiajiu, a small Tibetan village we stayed overnight in.
Our Tibetan host spinning a yarn. Literally. Communication was tough.
Will climbs up the ladder seen in the previous photo.
Sunset over the mountains.
And a celestial slideshow over the same range two hours later. Photo credit Will van Engen.
Along the road back to Danba.
Pots steaming away at our favourite jiaodzi joint. We’ve frequented it five of our six nights in Danba and would be on first name basis with its proprietors if only we could speak the same language.
And finally, an apology to anyone who I owe emails from the past week or two; your replies, alas, will have to wait for another day. I found an internet cafe intending to catch up on my backlog and found myself blogging instead. Go figure.