Wenhai to Lake Lashi

9 October 2009
Wenhai to Lake Lashi

Last night we had a rather fitful sleep. I couldn't sleep because the
bed (while it looked really comfortable) was rock hard. Julia
couldn't sleep because I was tossing and turning so much. We woke up
to a huge breakfast of fried eggs, french fry like potatoes, boiled
potatoes, baoze (steamed buns), rice porridge (which we added sugar
too... its not so good without the sugar), and hot tea.

After breakfast we finished packing and treated our water with iodine
tablets (Wenhai doesn't have potable water). Kerry confessed to us
that she often got lost hiking this part of the trail, bringing
several groups well off the beaten track. Thankfully she employed a
local to help her find the trail this time. Our hike started at Lake
Wenhai and over the course of 1 hour and 45 minutes we climbed 400
meters (1200 feet) to the mountain top (at an elevation of 3400
meters). Along the way, we saw cows, yaks, goats, and sheep while
avoiding the massive mud puddles from the rains the night before as
well as the equally massive cow/yak pies. On the way down the
backside of the mountain we had gorgeous views of Lake Lashi, which
was 1000 meters below (at an elevation of 2400 meters).

It took us about 2 and a half hours to make our way down the 1000
meters to the valley below. Along the way, I took a spill in the
omnipresent mud and proceeded to cake my legs in mud. We ran into
even more wildlife on the way down, including thousands of mating
crickets, frogs, and lizards (which scare Kerry). Tonight we are
staying at a guest house with an Austrian couple and their two adopted
Chinese children (born in Austria, though), a french girl, and the
family that runs the guest house. The children are very cute and
spend all day running around the guest house courtyard and playing
with the local Chinese boy (who I think is a little confused by the
girls' lack of Chinese).

An interesting observation: The German language is often seen as
being a very harsh language. However, after hearing Mandarian and
German together, We've decided that German (at least the Austrian
variant) isn't as harsh as it's made out to be.