holy crap those are big

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April 28th 2006
Published: May 28th 2006
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he he he he he he.

I think today is a wonderful day. i saw one of the most beautiful
things i have ever seen-----the himilayas. i always knew that they would be
big, but i don't think that there is any conceivable way to understand their
enormity until you see them from an airplane (and it wasn't a small
one---thank heavens!). We flew out of Chengdu at 7:30 this morning. It was
nice to see Chengdu from the air also, since we flew in at night last time.
It's a huge, sprawling tumor.
Anyway, outside of Chengdu, the land turns green with patches of farm
and after about 10 minutes on the plane, you begin to see, looming
mysteriously in the distance the MIGHTY Himilayas. As we soared over the
first wall we hit some turbulence.....it was a little cloudy up in those
parts. But after about 5 minutes of that the clouds broke and there they
were, spread out in every conceivable direction. Imagine flying over the
rockies times 10....maybe even 20. It's even crazier when you see them draw
nearer to the plane----it gives you an idea of just how large they are.
From my cush window seat i could see valleys and glaciers, jagged muscular
peaks cutting the air so violently.......but so elegantly. It is a dizzying
mix of light and shadow....blue and grey and white. It is the only
landscape i have ever seen that has brought me to tears. I know that sounds
stupid.....and it is.....but there's something about them that brings a new
meaning to 'awe'. It's cliche to say they were humbling...... but i was so
enamoured by them that the turbulence on the plane did not bother me at all.
I was really beginning to wonder after an hour, where the hell a plane
could possibly land. But the mountains gave way to a brown desert like
plateu....and snow turned to sand dunes. We landed at the airport and then
took an hour long bus ride to lhasa. i slept on the way but woke just in
time to catch my first glimpse of the Potala. We checked into our hotel and walked
around---more about that later. We just came from tea atop the 5th story of
our hotel. There, we found a majestic view of the potala---in its place,
jagged like the peaks, standing watch over modern day lhasa. it's a really
cool building. The altitude here is about what it is in colorado so max and i are doing
fine......i've been drinking lots of water and have frequented the smelly
squat toilets about 15 times already. Pooping should be fun. Tonight we're
gonnna try to convince some other people to come trekking with us....maybe
drink ourselves into a normal sleeping schedule.

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