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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Golmud to Chengdu

Qinghai Hu China's greatest salt lake

One the second day we awoke to sunrise on the greatest salt lake in China and proceeded through more mountain ranges with the limits of Tibetan culture still waving prayer flags and erecting chortens.

Prayer flags still adorn the fields here and there

Sand dunes by the salt lake

We met the above American dude on the train who tried to entice us into a group sex session with the Chinese bank worker he was meeting in Chengdu.

There were several great circles on the line where you could see both ends of the train from the windows.

We gradually wound into a series of river valleys with increasingly desertified hills around and increasing industry and pollution as we proceeded by Xining and Lanzhou, reputed to be the most polluted city on Earth sandwiched between hills along the river.

Buddhist stupa in Qinghai province

Scenes in the train and restaurant which we didn't use, living instead on chilli noodles with the boiling water provided in the carriages.

At one of the stops a Chinese guy nipped off the train and bought two creates of beers and set about trying to make us and several of the other passenger engage in a drinking contest resulting in the carriage getting sullied to the contempt of the stewards.

Debauchery in the night.

The next morning the air hung heavy with smog although the scenery in Sichuan was now forested and green.

A Sichuan river ferry in the fog

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