We recently rode our bicycle from Chengdu across the SW China mountains (Himalayas and Tibetan plateau). We began in Chengdu and visited the Giant Panda Breeding Center. Lucky, our stuffed panda, made the visit with and was not sure what to think of the really really big (to him) pandas. Tai Shan is leaving National Zoo today for the Giant Panda Breeding Center, Chengdu, China. Video of Tia Shan at the National Zoo made him the most popular Panda ever. Thousands tuned in daily to watch his clumsy antics.
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Happy Christmas from Bangkok
Happy Christmas from Bangkok, from Bob and Claire and Lucky. P-bear, Lai Lai and Foster send their best wishes from Tucson.
We’ll celebrate by crossing the International Date Line on Christmas Day. Does that mean we get Christmas twice?
Claire and Bob Rogers
PS. See a video of us having a look-back at our Shangri-la journey from Bangkok, Christmas Eve day.
Lucky from Angkor Wat
We took Zippy to ride yesterday to some place said Angkor Wat. Claire told it was a important place. It is made of rocks people carved and piled up to make temples to a bunch of gods.
They have scary demons for gods to fight, or something. There is big snakes, elephants, and too, a crocodile carved into walls, and other stuff too.
There are whole armies fighting and different of their big important gods, including Buddha. I’m can’t know how they remember all these gods, but they must have been important for them to do hard work.
Oh, there are 1876 dancing nymphs carved there too, and Bob took a lot of pictures of them.
We went to several other temples that were just as interesting. Claire says we’re going to more today and tomorrow. I’m getting tired, and Bob wants a nap, but Claire says we’ll only be here once, so we gotta keep up to go.
Zippy and me liked the ride back best. It being dark and we no lights. Bob and Claire pedaled fast. We passed bicycles and tuk tuks and even cars. Then me and Bob talked to a little girl selling postcards while Claire got food.
Bob says they’ll put up some more pictures when he finds something called bandwidth. I don’t know what is, but he always grouches about it.
I having fun!
Misty Morning in Shangri-la (Claire)
We took the recommendation of Bill Weir and Alice and Andoni, cyclists we’d met way back in Almaty in 2005, and took a back road rather than Highway 214 to Tiger Leaping Gorge. We had at least one climb each day, one day we had three climbs totaling about 18 kilometers. The road is now paved except for washouts and we had very light traffic and beautiful views. Villages along the way were full of hard-working but friendly people eager to say “Hello!”. Coming the backway into Tiger Leaping Gorge was more fun because we didn’t feel so much a part of the tourist hordes. The big rock slide blocked vehicle traffic so we had the gorge to ourselves for most of the morning.
Clothsline in Shangri-la
Plowing with Oxen
Fall Colors in the Mountains of Shangri-la
Nearing Another Pass With Moss Covered Trees
Travertine Pools of Bai Shui Tai
The main reason we went the longer, back way to Lijiang was that I (Claire) wanted to see the travertine terraces at Bai Shui Tai. Unlike at Havasupai, these terraces are perched on a hillside, rather than in a canyon.
Flower in Shangri-la
Dahlias grow everywhere.
Village in Shangri-la
The expansive valleys on this route were stunning; deep enough that we couldn’t see all the way to the bottom.
Mountains of Shangri-la
View from our $4.20 room
Lunch Time in a Shangri-la Field
All Dressed Up
Haba Snow Mountain
Tiger Leaping Gorge
After the rain in Tiger Leaping Gorge