Published: April 17th 2012April 17th 2012
I am off to China 19thApril, including others parts unknown -- actually, I have all my visas -- including more or less the following:
Beijing, Shanghai, Pingyao, Xian, Guilin, Hangzhou, Taipei, Macau, HKG, Tibet, China; Katmandu, Nepal; Rangoon, Myanmar, Dakar, Bangladesh, Karachi, Islamabad, Harappa, Quetta, Lahore, Pakistan.
In all likelihood, I will visit many of the usual tourist sites, based on what I understand tourists are visiting, however, ideally I will hope to see much, much more with the time I have available to me!
For reasons that will remain only for me to know, I expect to be moving something along the lines of Beijing-Shanghai-Beijing-Datong-Pingyao - south to Xian - Yangzi/Chang Jiang R. - Guilin and the Li R. and the Dragon's Backbone rice fields and then into HGK and Macau - Taipei - KAT, Nepal for May 19 trekking and then tour of Tibet Jun2.
To be quite frank, I just cannot countenance a visit to Pakistan without visiting the Indus Valley civilization region including, of course, most importantly Harappa on the bank of Ravi in Sahiwal District of the Punjab and another at Moenjo Daro on River Indus in the Larkana District of Sind. That and my dream to cross through the Khyber Pass nd on into Afghanistan. I am still giving very, very serious consideration to travelling, or not, through the Khyber Pass - dangerous as some say it might be, although admittedly, I will likely leave all my expensive gear in a Pakistan hotel before hiring some guy in a jeep to drive me into Afghanistan!
Well, all I know for sure, well almost for sure, is I return home out of Karachi sometime mid- to end-August.
Hope I don't get shot, I should really say shot at, what with all that is going on in Karachi!! I will likely travel through Islamabad, Lahore and the Indus valley and onward into Karachi. There could much to see/do/hear about in between too!
Unfortunately, at this juncture, Tibet is still not a "sure" thing, notwithstanding my having already paid for a 8-day trek/tour to Tibet and Potala palace, etc. I guess, I cannot be quite sure, Zhongwen government is still very temperamental about "foreign" tourists traipsing into Tibet what with the qualms they have about the status of the Dali Lama and his (il)legitimacy (?), and, unbelievably, they simply leave us blowing in the wind with regard to visas right up to the day of entry, or so I gather based on Bohemiantour.com replies to me (hope this is not censured).
While I am worried, or anxious really, about Nepal trekking what with the altitude and my physical condition, i.e. my bad back and ageing body, I am still excited and hope, or should I say pray, for the best. Luckily, I have now also arranged a Mt. Everest flight for May20th -- 1-hour flight from KAT Airport for a very close view of The Himalayan panorama from approximately 16,000 feet. So, I will get to see beautiful scenery from the ground as well as from thee air. Hope my camera and 24-70mm/2.8 lens are up to the task.
Oh yes, I also, recall seeing once upon a time a daily ceremony of soldiers taking place at an outpost (where?) along the Indian- Pakistani border; keen to see and to photograph this, but we'll see?
Finally, once again, thinking about a web blog, yes this one here, but in light of my lack of success with this during my trip through the Middle East in 2011, I will undertake only to do my best, and that is all I can say at this point. Just stay tuned to see what becomes of this possibility.
Finally, I do plan on sending photo of the day to tgam.com/photo-desk or more accurately firstname.lastname@example.org, so watch for updates if you are following blog about the Far East. Any which I send to the Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, I feel will be fit for posting here or on FB.
This occasion, I have only done a limited amount of planning unlike when I was travelling the Middle East 2011 (some of this blog is still on this site). Hope this works! My MacAir is now set up to handle camera, iPhone and CF card reader as well as the 1 TB external hard drive (still contains all of the Middle East pics) which is necessay as my Mac does not have sufficient space to cope with the heavy pic download. Boy, I better not lose this HD!
So, all packed (
More later or hui tou jian and not zaijian
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