21 NOVEMBER 2014

At the start of this world tour Laura dreamed of wishing her birthday in China. The dream becomes reality in Zhangye!

So we put our luggage to celebrate it with dignity!

It is random hitchhiking that we arrive on this day in this city of the province of Ganzu and we can say that the chance has done well things! It is a superb culturally rich city.

We decide to visit first the temple of the giant Buddha which contains an elongated statue more than 34 meters long. It is the longest clay-lying Buddha in China.

As soon as we return to this temple we feel the spirituality of the place, the architecture and the absence of tourist help much to this.

The elongated Buddha is really impressive, his gaze subdues the visitor as much as his size, almost he would seem to us alive.

At the exit of the temple the square is immersed in serenity, musicians play instruments very typical of China while men write with enormous brushes on the ground, the writing fades imperceptibly under the effect of the " evaporation. Beside them people play different societies in peace of mind, two elderly people frame a Buddha, one masses his head with an art seems well controlled while the other exercises for the neck. Time seems suspended, even passers-by take the time to slow down and we sit contemplated this broomstick. We raise our eyes to the sky and it is dozens of kites that dominate us and give the impression of being under a giant aquarium.

The walk in vile is a continuation of discovery of monuments, equally impressive ones as the others. We find a super restaurant called Zizi (we already hear the laughter of the children of the schools that follow us). We taste a grilled cat fish with a thousand flavors. We finish the evening around a birthday cake found a little earlier in town.

Lolo is happy with his unusual Birthday.

We fall gradually really in love with this country not only for the landscapes or the monuments but especially for its diversity and the philosophy of life that can be found in certain places.

23 NOVEMBER 2014

We go out a bit from the city of zhangye to discover the surroundings. Gone are the great desert expanses of the west, here all the spaces are cultivated. We observe many greenhouses whose structures are in earth like the houses of the villages where we are surprised of the large number of solar furnace individual.

We arrive at the rock formation of Danxia, ​​Total change of view, the spectacle is amazing and grand. Nature took 24 million years to shape this vast colorful landscape.

This is the result of the deposition of sediments of different colors between two tectonic plates throughout this period and the effect of erosion.

If the entrance is a little expensive (60 Yuan), do not hesitate if one day you pass in this region because it is really worth seeing this picture of nature. A small tip arrived in the morning so we could not see everything so the place is huge.

Return to Zhangye by our dear autostop to prepare the rest of our trip to China.


26 NOVEMBER 2014

About fifteen days that we are in China and yet we react as on the first day to the way of children amazed and surprised by everything that surrounds us.

Finished our way east we bifurcate south to try to reach Xining the geographical heart of China.

At the hitch-hiking level We manage better and better the communication with the inhabitants to bring us to good destination and we are luck our drivers are really friendly and good drivers.

The scenery pass before our eyes, we are delighted the mountain is back. The view is magnificent, the animals are numerous in these mountains (sheep, cattle of which the famous yaks, various rodents, white fox etc ...) and religious monuments Buddhist are more and more numerous.

A sign announces 3767 m, we burst our joy under the amused eye of our driver. We just beat our altitude record. Bis repeated a few kilometers further in another pass after crossing a tunnel: 3792 m! Before so much demonstration of good humor our driver stops to immortalize us this moment.


To enter Tibet and then cross Nepal through land, we have no choice but to go through an agency and a tour guide. Windhorse is the agency that has responded best to our budget and closest to the spirit of our trip.

It is at Xining station that we wait for the train to Lhasa. I see myself teenager arrive at the Alexandra-David-Neel high school allowing me to discover this fabulous woman who gave the name to this high school of Dignes the baths. It is through these novels that I knew Tibet and it seemed to me so inaccessible to see unreal and here it is before us at 24 hours of trains!

Not any train, a train that is already mythical despite its young age (line inaugurated in 2006). The "Qing-Zang" is indeed a real technical feat! It is more than 960 km, or 80% of the journey at an altitude equal to or greater than 4000 m, reaching 5060 m. To the pass of Tangula Shankou which makes of this train the highest of the world !!!

Xining station is already a foretaste of Lhasa, the Tibetans who await the arrival of the train are magnificent with their faces chiselled and their traditional clothes. They are as curious about us as we are of them, which creates a true sympathetic complicity.

After several checks of our Tibet entry permits we enter the train, you can imagine that it is not our style to have taken first class seats, but we are surprised our bunks seem very good and the Toilets so decried on some blogs are much cleaner than expected.

The train starts for this magical journey! The atmosphere is calm, some play cards, others take a nap where well do meals in common in the compartments. We opt to sit on the folding seats positioned along the corridor so as not to miss any landscapes. They parade and as sound background we have different soft music (mostly pianos or flutes) broadcast by the train company. After four hours, the sun goes down and we decide to do as much by joining our bunks to chat. The slow roll of the train lulls us to such a point that the arms of Morpheus welcome us in the middle of our discussion.

Luckily, we wake up before sunrise. It is a pleasure to see the train come alive again, as the dawn and then the dawn give relief to the snowy mountains, the total appearance of the sun reveals the true expanses of the landscapes. The majestic Yaks seem to be masters of the place while Tibetan Buddhists pray in the quiet of the morning. We understand the great pride and importance of this railway line for China when Chinese soldiers stationed along the railway make the military salute at the passage of the train.

Now the 24-hour train ends, time seemed short. The train station in Lhasa is impressive. She knows how to make architectural and freedom to look at the mountains.

After a final check, we are greeted by our guide with a traditional white scarf.

The next three days will surely make us funny, we who for nearly three months are left to ourselves. We are true tourists to follow a guide and a program all made.`