Day 225. 88km. Daocheng – Erchu

Posted: December 23, 2015 in China, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

‘That road is impossible!’
‘The road to Shangri La is back where you have come from.’
I get warnings of people indicating a near vertical climb on rocks and through mud. This is sounding worrying. Following the insider tip from my hotel manager.

View from my abode

View from my abode

The main road from Daocheng to Shangri La is a mudbath. I spent 12 hours in a bus on it from Daocheng to Shangri La and 12 hours back. 300km in 12 hours. The valley is very beautiful with some massive, massive climbs.

Shangri La was my well-earned rest and recreation. I ate western food to my heart’s content, and hung out in cafes, sipping tea as the sun shone in through the window. I was forced to stay there for 4 days waiting for my visa extension. I’m glad I was forced. ☺

Me and my cat

Me and my cat

The alternate road to Shangri La so far is great. The perfect, brand new road meant that I hardly noticed climbing over the 4500m high pass (despite the standard headwind). I am staying in a Tibetan family’s house. The main room is amazing. All vanished wood, from floor to walls to ceiling, there are three massive pillars along the centre line of the room. The wood stove takes an important place on one side, with an ornate Tibetan painted carving on the wall behind.

I watched on in curiosity as various activities were carried out, including separating cream from milk. What a different life they lead.

Separating the milk

Separating the milk

Another 4500m

Another 4500m

  1. Peter Nieuwenhout says:

    Matthew, have a wonderful Christmas and happy new year!


    Peter Nieuwenhout
    the Netherlands

  2. valerievolk says:

    Fascinating stuff. And this is exactly how my grandmothers separated milk from cream – so reminiscent of my childhood holidays on their farms.

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