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Monday 18 Sep
Zhongdian, China

The air gets thinner and Sas morphs into our saviour

At 3200m the air definitely felt thinner and we tried not to do too much in Zhongdian as this was the first place where the altitude was getting serious. Good thing really as we felt a bit lazy after the trek and needed a bit of down time. Again we met lots of lovely travellers including a father/daughter from Holland who swapped books with us so we are now the proud owners of a Lonely Planet Tibet which was impossible to get in China, some Ozzies who gave us 3 books and an eccentric Brit who lives in Marlow (the haunt of my ex boss Mike Landers!). He had actually heard of him... only good things of course.

Sas has very helpfully arranged a replacement Canon Ixus to be couriered to us from Hong Kong. There was a great deal on at a shop there but we made the, what we thought at the time, rather prudent and sensible decision not to buy as we had a perfectly good camera already! How foolish! My new motto is buy! buy! buy! I am pleased for once that DHL sees Tibet as China and it will only cost us less then 15 GBP to get it here. Sas you are our saviour. There are no Canon Ixus shops around these here parts!

Back to Zhongdian... We took a wander around the old town and went up to the monastery which is the largest in SW China. It wasn't only the monastery which was large - we found the biggest dope plants we have ever seen growing in 'the wild' or more likely 'carefully cultivated' by some rather chilled out monks.

The plants were as big as Andrew and I did contemplate for a moment whether I could disguise it and substitute it for him on our flight the next morning. Only for a moment Wink.

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