Friday, August 14, 2009
I Wanna Get High, So High
Again, there's no shortage of Tibetan monks, monasteries, or temples just outside of Tibet's official border. And all travelers given access as of late.
In the town of Litang, I spent a few days. It's cool to see so many weathered faces, and dudes with long windblown mops of hair, and others sporting worn-in cowboy hats.
Litang is surrounded by tree-less, grass-covered hills. I should also say, the altitude of this place is 4014m, and there's a short supply of oxygen. It's also cold. i had to buy some long undies, and added them to virtually every other piece of clothing i had with me.
Everytime i looked at the surrounding hills i wanted to scale them. So i rented a bike from a restaurant that doesn't really rent bikes, and rode out to the hills. The uphill grade which didn't seem so steep, sucked all of my energy. eventually i hopped off my steed, since riding was too slow and too hard (i thought it was a bike prob), to clamber up the hill. But the hill was a bit steep. I honestly had to stop and rest after every 3 steps. It almost killed me. i almost gave up.
But eventually it levelled off, and i plopped to the ground, spread eagle style, where i lay a considerable while, listening to my racing heart, and having near-altered state visions.
Then i climbed up a bit more and hung out with the cattle a while, and stole as much oxygen as i could from the misty wind.
Also Litang has a monastery with 2 new temples added on to it, still under construction. After sidestepping the blowtorches, overstepping the sandbags, and squeaking past the saws, i took in the new temples.
now there's no history yet in the place, but it still was pretty wild. How often do you get to see 3 story high buddhas surrounded by scaffolding and labourers? People hammering gods to the walls? Scrubby non-buddhist painters, detailing amazingly beautiful massive murals? Obviously i wanted to take pictures SOOOOOO badly, but refrained myself. Stupid respect, getting in the way yet again.
Also, do note, the picture above is NOT from this holiday. All of my pix are from my old flickr page, which is the only way i know of to blog right now, since blogger is blocked. Sorry if the pix are misleading.