SW China Gallery

We’ve posted a first batch of pictures from North Yunnan and West Sichuan in a gallery over here, which we’ll be adding to – and captioning – as we work our way through the various memory cards. I hope you enjoy them.

Here’s a sample…


The mountains around Litang were fresh with snow from a storm that we’d been caught in the day before. Cara was all layered up; only her nose peeped out.


It was so cold as we descended, that spray from the road froze in a coating of ice around the bikes. We had to keep breaking, or ice jammed our discs.


At times, the landscape had a Scottish feel to it. Scotland at 4000m, that is.


Cara tucks into a typical steamed dumpling breakfast, washed down with a bowl of rice porridge and piping hot tea.


A nomad boy in West Sichuan sees us and comes running over from his yak tending duties.


Tattered prayer flags snap in the wind, sending prayers whooshing across the mountains.


After a tough week in the saddle, we treated ourselves to a ‘luxury’ room, complete with attached bathroom and hot shower. A bedside console powered lights and the TV (the only English language channel was Propaganda News 24). But my favourite switch turned off the Bother. If only there was a switch like that in life…

Want to see more? Head to the Pbase gallery. When you open an image, click on ‘original’. All subsequent images will then default to the best version.


5 Responses to “SW China Gallery”

  1. 1 Jim January 4, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Nice pics Cass. And I thought you had the ‘No Bother’ switch on permanently….. 😉

  2. 2 Mark from Canada January 5, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Hi Cass,

    Hopefully this goes through, the computer I’ve been using for 2 weeks couldn’t “find the site” after posting a comment.

    Great shots! I particularly like the one of the couple on the motorbike with leaves falling off the back.

    I can’t remember which camera you have. I have the D40X and was thinking of also bringing a more versatile D200 or D300 (expensive right now though) on future trips so that I can have both a telephoto lens and a regular one ready to go at an instant.

    Well you have some high standards to keep up for future trip photos.

    See you

  3. 3 otbiking January 5, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Hi Jim, yeah, sometimes Cara has to switch it back off or things never get done!

    I’ve got the D200 Mark. Basically, I’m very pleased with it, as it’s built tough, the various focus functions are great, and I think the colours come out nicely. The ISO and battery life are a tad disappointing – I believe the D300 is more efficient, despite the bigger screen, and less noisy. Looks like a lovely camera with 100% viewfinder too. I’ll post some of yours up if you don’t mind – the ones you sent – now that we’re back and have proper access. China’s access was limited by the Great Firewall.

    Just had dinner and a ride at Jack and Katie’s.

  4. 4 kang July 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    hey man, I found your page searching for info on traveling from shangrila to chengdu. I have some questions that maybe you can help me with. A friend and I thinking of taking buses from shangrila through xiangcheng,litang,kangdang to chengdu in late Oct. We woundnt be biking, so am wondering about the views, time involved, timing of trip, and dangers. if you get this please let me know what you think.

    谢谢 康

  5. 5 cass July 14, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    I’m not sure the timeframe I’m afraid. Certainly no dangers that I can think of. Not sure where you guy are from, but visas for China are hard to come by at the moment in the run up to Beijing. Perhaps this will be back to normal come October. I did also read of travel restrictions in this area for foreigners – for the same reasons.
    I guess there’s a change of bus in xiangcheng. As far as I rememember, there are buses from Litang to Kangding, then Kangding to Chengdu. We had mixed weather, so the buses used chains to cross the passes – but they were still open.

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