Published: June 19th 2012June 19th 2012
The worst bus trip ever…Never -never trust a minivan that offers you a good deal trip if is not between 2 connected near towns. The road from Tangton to Ganzi took me 11 hours, when in a bus it was supposed to be 9 hours!!!!
We were a crew of 5 tourists. It was raining a lot at 8 am in Tangton and we decided to not wait the bus and go in a minibus. I was with Inti, the Salvadorian guy, a Japanese guy that hardly speaks but took care of the meals and snacks of the group and a Chinese woman that speaks fluent Spanish with a funny Spain accent, finally our groups had a guy from Ireland that has lived here for the last 4 years. The drivers made us changes cars 4 times in the road. Each time was a new deal between them and the new driver in order to takes us to the new destination. The first place was Bamei
, the second stop was Daufu
, a place were the drivers put fruit box on the windows to cover the forgings on the car, it seemed we were not welcome there and they do not allowed me to go to the toilet there. At that point we were charged an extras 10Y to continue, it seemed that the price that the first driver gave us was too low…Then we stopped in Luhou
, and once we passed the police control and we showed our passports, we were able to finally eat something there. Horrible meal. But some locals took me a picture and they developed and gave me a copy, that was nice! The last part of the trip was long, bumpy road, and with few options for toilet. A rural guy was going to throw Inti and me stones for trying to pee in his land.
In Ganzi, the crew split and I went with Inti to find a hotel. I was picky looking for a place with a shower. Here many hostels and hotels do not have shower. Not in the room, not outside in a share area. Finally we got a place.
We woke up early and went to the market, an excellent place to get local bread and vegetables. We liked so much the bakery guy that we went three times to his tiny store to get fried bread with greens inside. I bought a black pair of shoes; the Chinese style cheap shoes that used to have when I was a kid and they were trendy…I bought bananas, cookies and a mango…my healthy feast!
Then we walked around the town and we went to the Tibetan area. It is a nice old and friendly place. We climbed the mountain and we got to the monastery. We met a Lama there that invited to his room and he shared with us his meal: Tsompa (barely flour with butter, water, with the option of yak cheese or sugar) a dish that you have to prepare with your finger and mix everything until become a sticky mix. This goes with a tea. The tea here is salty…L the conclusion is I have not eaten anything and I felt bad for rejecting it but I really could not take that. We learnt some Tibetan new words and teach the Lama English. He asked us to give his students an English class, that will stress focus in pronunciation of the vocabulary of the things that they have already learned. We agreed to join him after their lunch.
Inti and I went to take pictures. We had to stop to rest every 5 or 10 minutes because the altitude made me feel I am completely out of shape. In those breathing and breathing breaks we found Marcelo taking pictures in the area as well.
Inti and I gave the English class after we listen the meal prayers and the monk with his unique voice chanting in the traditional way. Teaching was an amazing experience. I taught pronunciation! I had to explain the differences between Free and Three to 10 years old boys, among other interesting common mistakes they were making. I do not why but when they said the alphabet and they named WE to V…It was very fulfilling experience. Inti committed to stay in Ganzi to go to the monastery and teach them more during his staying in that Town. The Lama was drilled.
Marcelo, Inti and I went to walk around the fields and meet local peasants that were working on the land. Some of them were having breaks and they invited us to share with them their picnics under a big umbrella (it was a little bit rainy) I listen some interesting stories. I wish I were able to understand more Tibetan. It was hard to get us understood. But there are many international gestures that allow always exchanging some important stories; and this people clearly need to share and speak with foreign.
There was a dog that followed us the whole time until the rain was too strong and my bread finished, so he decided to leave us without his company. We went to explore into the end of the town where the Lama said he goes to take showers in public spring waters. In this town not many people has shower in their home. It was not nice place as we expecting. But the walk was nice. The path was full of Tibetan colorful nomad big tents. I want to buy one and take home!!! It cost around 100u$, they are so beautiful, but I guess the last thing I need at this moment is a big tent… So after that I bought instead a Tibetan curtain for the door. It is called GOY-YU. It is not as nice as the tents but is something that I can fold easily…
I am starting to have few days in my trip, and there are so many places to cover yet. So I will not stay in Ganzi but I will start going up. Tomorrow I will go with Marcelo to Darja Gompa. A monastery that use to have more than 3000 monks before the Cultural Revolution and now have only 300 monks. Many monks were killed at that time or escaped to India. Nowadays 3 monks run a guesthouse there and there are really spring waters on the nature…we will see.