བཅུ་​ལྔ་. No Limits

It would be a long bus journey from Lijiang to get there and it was not clear where I would stay once I was there.

The guidebooks did not show anything, but it was not certain why it was off-limits. Perhaps it was a route, albeit circuitous to Tibet. Perhaps it was because the society who lived there was matriarchal.

Regardless, I had been spending more time with minority groups, both in Burma and Thailand, and this seemed like a new diversion from the Mao-fashioned Han Chinese to see some colour.

This time, with a Tibetan promise and the mother focus there was an added edge.

“So how can I get there?” I asked.

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十六. The Mao Cap

We’d gone to Dali, to a market on the lake, but Ben had fallen ill with dysentery so we hadn’t been able to stay long. In fact it had gotten so bad that we had to get him to Xichang to find help. I too, had run up a fever after we’d been caught on the hills in the rain with only our T-shirts… It was only Darius who was OK.

семнадцать. The Mule

Jed took hold of the dried lizards, I took the bong and together we ran to the train. A three foot bong is difficult enough to handle without having both hands occupied with plastic bags of food and drink, and a rucksack on your back. I pinched it under my arm and stepped out from the tourist waiting room into a calm night heat. The sounds of Beijing eluded us on the platform.