We left Kangding this morning on the 9.00am bus bound for Litang, the second highest town in China after Wenquan in Qinghai Province. Thankfully, there was no mad rush at the bus station. All night, I stayed awake in case of any violent aftershocks. The local news reported 129 minor aftershocks at Tagong County where many buildings had been damaged. Things seemed peaceful in Kangding City itself. I only felt a very slight tremour in the middle of the night.
The journey to Litang was long and arduous. We probably crossed at least 3 5,000m passes. The scenery is so awesome that I can’t wait to share the photos and videos when I get home. The town of Litang lies in a basin and grassy knolls roll off in every direction. The hillsides are dotted with grazing yaks. The town itself is pretty modern for such a remote location. Of course, a quick ascent to 4,000m may seem foolhardy to anyone who knows anything about AMS and the wisdom of ascending slowly, but after observing how this little one performed at 3700m in Nepal, I decidedto test his limit. Actually, it’s more because there’s no decent accommodation out of Kangding until Litang.
The little one had a headache, but I was not sure if it’s due to the lack of oxygen or food and water. Our bus ride started at 9.00am and ended at 4.40pm when the “luxury” bus rattled into the cold, dusty Tibetan cowboy town. We hadn’t had breakfast and lunch.
Our Tibetan hosts at the hotel were most kind and helpful. The carried his backpack for him and did whatever they could to make him feel more comfortable. I diagnosed the severity of his AMS and knew a better remedy. I got some food into his stomach first. This was followed by lots of hot puer tea. To be kiasu, I also bought 3 canisters of oxygen (Y30 each). He was back to his normal self after the tea, beef noodles and 1 canister of oxygen. Actually, there’s very little oxygen inside these canisters. A few puffs and there’s nothing left. You may use them to alleviate mild symptoms of AMS, but I’m sure they’re quite useless for mountaineering or for any serious or life threatening situation.
It’s going to be -6 deg tonight, much the same as Kangding, but given the size of this room (only 100 yuan). It’s feels a lot colder than Kangding. The power failure that hit Litang for most of the day seems to have been rectified and I found out that the wifi here is even better than that at Kangding. Let’s hope our beds stay warm throughout the night.
We’ll be leaving for Daocheng tomorrow. Wait for my update from there.