Monday, October 5, 2009


Last night we tried a Xinjiang restaurant, but the guy kept trying to hustle us with all kinds of deals. We ended up at a pretty expensive place, but it wasn't so bad - food was pretty good. Then we picked up a crate of beer and headed home.

We started hanging out in our room, but pretty son were approached by some Chinese guys who were in the process of biking around the lake. They were nice and we talked to them for a while. Got some digits. One was older - 38 and from Shandong, and the other looked about our age and was from outside of Beijing.

I woke up at 6:30 this morning with Charlie to watch the sunrise over the lake. It was really beautiful. And cold. Then we went back to bed. Woke up around 9 to fried rice and zhou for breakfast and then hired a van to drive us to Heimahe (黑马河). A mianbao for 25/person, just a bit more than the (unpredictably arriving/free space) bus. It was a pretty cozy hour and a half.

We had a bit of a saga finding a hotel with a dorm, but did get lucky and ended up at the Jiaotong (交通) truck stop which had a 6 bed room with heated blankets and cable tv (!) for 15/person. The hotel(?) is a bit dingy, but its really quite nice compared to my expectations for this trip. We have also just discovered that Jose and Charlie would clearly make the perfect sitcom-about-first-year-roommates pair.

After lunch at a Tibetan restaurant, we went for a hike. We went high and far, and I was embarrassingly dying a bit. But it was so worth it. The views were amazing amazing. We had to cut through some farms, hop over and/or through a ton of barbed wire fences, and cross rivers with stepping stones. At one point there were no stones and we had to lose out shoes and ford the river. THe water was frigid but so so clear. We drank some and it was delicious. We probably hiked for about 3 hours, I'm really interested to googlemap/mapmyrun the route to see how far and high we went. The altitude was definitely getting to me; I was pretty lightheaded and overly easily exhausted. Of course a gorgeous sunset, and then we went out to dinner. Sichuan thus time - the lamb was getting a little old.


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