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Himalaya

Day 74: Yushu

Michael Palin - HimalayaI buy a stone, make my prayer and place it in a wall.

Time to say farewell to Duker, a helpful and patient guide with a good sense of humour. He's a true Tibetan. His father is a nomadic farmer 60 miles from here. An aunt helped educate him at a monastery school and as soon as he learnt English he knew he would never return to the nomad's life. He fled to India for a while and learnt more about Tibetan tradition and culture in Dharamsala then he ever did in Tibet. Now he recognizes the importance of learning Chinese and his great hope for his son is that he will be truly international.

'At home in Lhasa or Oxford or Beijing.'

The road accompanies a meandering stream through a pleasant tree-lined valley. About 20 miles (32 km) from Yushu, the bubbling, fresh flow is swept into a faster, darker river, which will carry it 3500 miles (5600 km) from here to the shores of the East China Sea. It will also take us back into the Himalaya. Its name here is Tongtian He, the 'River to Heaven', but we know it as the Yangtze-Kiang, the longest river in Asia.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 74: Yushu
  • Country/sea: Tibet
  • Place: Yushu
  • Book page no: 174

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