We are visiting family in Brooklyn. Lots of play. But here’s time to start to catch up…
Day 18 – June 4, 2006
Last big walk.
Today I walked the most I have walked on this trip–4 hours–with no headache or otherwise ill effects so far.
This morning I went toward AruTso with my binoculars just to see what I could see–lots of chiru, a huge bird with a white underside. And I just sat down in the Basin for a while and thought about all the loved ones I’d left behind. . . .
We’ve seen many chiru. I never tire of watching them and will miss their presence. Today on our walk we saw kiang though at some distance. This is truly a beautiful place. Jinpa thinks in ten years many more tourists will come. …
The Chang Tang is full of contrasts–hot sun, cold snow, noonday stillness, raging winds, the peaks and the plains, the huge glacial hills, and tiny wild flowers. For me, the contrasts have been beauty and incredible loneliness, the excitement of a new place and homesickness for my regular life. I think now, at the end of 18 days and at the end of our next to last day in the Aru Basin, I can say I’m glad I came but I’m ready to go.
9:15 p.m. Beijing time
After supper, I just went for a short walk on the plains to watch chiru a bit. They are so close and so available for watching now. Chiru have been the best part of this trip.
Day 19 – June 5, Monday @ 1:02 p.m. Beijing time
Our last day on the Chang Tang. This morning as I was eating my egg (this day cooked with onions) and hot chili paste I looked out the cook tent toward Aru Tso. It looked so blue as to have magical powers.
I thought of walking down there and dipping my hand in and wondered what the lake would demand in trade for that magic. I did start walking down there after breakfast, took some pictures of vegetation and wild flowers. I hope maybe they’ll be useful to Linda [illustrator of The Chiru of High Tibet] I saw about 4 gazelle, six adult male chiru, and one young one–much smaller no horns–and about 30 kiang.
After 1-1/2 hours I started back. I suppose if I got up early and walked half a day I might get to the lake but I think I actually like walking toward the lake as much as getting to the lake.
It occurred to me that maybe another message of the Aru Basin has something to do with not striving. But I haven’t been able to put that together with Bob Moses’s life and Martin Luther King’s life, both so full of striving for justice.