January 6, 2016
Kangding was a nice starting point, but I’m always ready to move on, to move deeper into the journey. However, doing this required waking up at 5 AM to catch a bus.
I call this a conflict of interests, because as eager as I am to continue, I’m also a great lover of sleep. Oh well…
It turns out it was well worth it. As the bus was leaving, all the while ascending higher upon the Tibetan plateau, the stars came alive like I haven’t seen them do in months. The horrendous smog of Chengdu blots out almost everything pleasing that the sky may have to offer.
I must admit, once the stars disappeared and the sun was well above the horizon the bus ride was less enchanting. The scenery outside remained impressive, but what was happening on the bus was slightly more concerning…
We nicknamed her Vomity Jane. Poor girl.
The bus ride was estimated to be 13 hours through winding mountain roads, and she was severely motion sick from the beginning. I have never seen a human being look so miserable, and I am still baffled as to how she committed to such a trip, armed only with a few black bags. As the bus rattled along the road between 12,000 – 15,000 feet, she progressively slid out of her seat. At one point I thought she would just collapse to the floor.
Little did I know that it was too soon to start feeling sorry for her. Once we arrived in Daocheng, about five hours earlier than expected too, we were taken in by an old couple who run a hotel out of their home. They were incredibly sweet, as it seemed they were closed for the season and they even offered to get us a driver for the next day to Shangri-la.
Lo and behold, Alex and I ended up incredibly altitude sick. Now we know how you feel, Vomity Jane. We understand your misery.
We spent an entire day in bed trying to keep our insides calm. I contemplated what Chinese, or rather Tibetan people eat when they feel this bad, because I promise you there probably isn’t a can of chicken noodle soup for 100 miles in any direction.
We slowly have to nurse ourselves back to health and hope that the next stage of the journey doesn’t hurt us any more.
Until next time!