When traveling with someone like Lao Li, our driver, you never know what might happen.
One minute we’re on the road to Dari, and then next we’re stopped by the side of the road, being told that we’re ‘going to go visit’ and being ushered up a hill to a lone tent.
We were not too sure what we might encounter but went along with it anyway.
Lao Li grabbed some gifts- pens and paper and pencil cases and we rummaged through our bags to find any suitable gifts, where we managed to find some sweets, a t-shirt, a penknife and a torch.
Upon the hill we were met by two small children, a teenage boy, two older men and one of their Tibetan mastiff dogs.
We presented our gifts and were able to ride their horse and use our Chinese students as translators. The family speak Tibetan so some of the translations were a little difficult, but it seemed that this family own 300 yak, and are nomadic but live in the city during winter because the winter is simply too cold and not suitable for tending to the yak.
We were invited into their home where we were greeted by the mother of the family. The tent inside was adorned with patterned fabric on every surface and horse saddles and kitchen pots hanging from the walls.
The mother was tending to a central stove, and we were asked to sit down on cushions around the stove, which was giving out so much heat, making the whole tent lovely and toasty.
The lady handed us each our own jar of Tibetan milk tea, and we were offered a lunch of fried ‘bing’ bread, while we chatted and just took in our surroundings.
It’s not every day you can say that you’ve had your hair stroked my curious Tibetans in my case, or in Tom’s case that you’ve been wrestled by a nomadic Tibetan yak herder.
House on the hill.
The daughter of the family is an incredible horse rider. The day before our visit she had come second in a race.
Their home, and their motorcycle, used so commonly to get into town.
The mother was using dried yak dung as fuel for the stove, and they also had solar powered appliances.
‘Baba Lao Li’ drawing watches on the childrens’ hands in pen.
Tibetan milk tea, made with yak milk.
Beautiful family and adorable children with rosy cheeks.
Fierce Tibetan man with his sword. Tibetan jackets are also very useful storing tools, like in this instance where he has tucked the gifts we brought into his jacket.
“The Tibetan people are great”- Zhang Hanzhi.
We took another sandy sample close to the town of Dari.
And were stopped and photographed by monks on the way back to the town, where we later went shopping in the evening.
Store selling Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags.
Tibetan cloak factory style store.
Anna in a dashing fur-lined Tibetan jacket.
The friendliness and warmth of the Tibetan people and the Tibetan towns will not easily be forgotten.
(Pictures 8 and 15 from Anna, 13 from Tom)