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mate’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 20 Jul 2005

Location: Dulong River Valley, China

MapIncredibly beautiful place up there. After riding as far as Bingzhonglou at the top of the Nujiang in China I went across to the Northwest, close to Tibet and reached the Dulong Valley.

It was an incredible drive there, a mountain road that is crumbling as your jeep goes along. I was lucky enough to meet a group of American researchers who invited me to join them - gave me an amazing insight into the unique local culture up there.

Hopefully the pics will be good as it's hard to explain. It's the last significant area of old-growth forest in China and it's stunning. There're ice tunnels, glaciers and the bizarre wild dulong cows with a brown body white head and brown eyes - weird things!

The villagers in the Dulong are incredibly poor and are very isolated. The road I took was completed last year but it doesn't look it. Probably the worst road I've seen - worse than the road to Tibet, mum! Helluva lot of fun though.

At one point we were stuck in an ice tunnel trying to dig a path for the jeep as part of the roof had collapsed. A bit scary and cold and wet - it rained everyday.

Just what this boy needed before a dose of big city madness in Hong Kong and then return to work. By the way I just took a job at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. Quite happy about that and Hangzhou sounds like a great place to live. Also doubled my salary!

Hard to imagine how I'll react to HK - so long since I've been in a big, westernized city. Nearly 2 years since I left Ol' Sydney Town. Just a few days though to see ma and ma and then back to the mainland. I do know I'm going to sample some cold draught Guiness with dad!!!!! (Dad's shout I'm afraid)