Sunday, 12 July 2009

Boat ride and Sand buggy - Qinghai Lake

The bus took us to a sandy patch along the lake. The tour guide was suggesting in Chinese that the elderly tourists could take the jeep while the younger ones could go on the "motor", which I only realised later that she meant the sand buggy. Whatever she was going on about the "motor", I was getting excited. The thought of doing something outdoor after the lengthy coach ride thrilled me, especially with the weather looking so beautiful.

The bus made a turn at this gate where white canvas tents lined in a row at a distance. We alighted to be greeted by many nomads trying to push a sale of souveniers or of photo shoots with their animals.

As usual, I ventured around with my camera.

We were ushered to queue at a pier. I didn't know what the plan was but followed instructions, all the while taking pictures of what caught my attention.

The water was so clear that the bed was easily visible.

Half of the tourists in front of the queue went on the boat.

The Qinghai Lake has been split into 4; Three were much smaller lakes than the fourth. See aerial view of the lake here. I supposed we were taken by boat from the edge of one of the smaller lakes to the sandy intersection where sand buggies were waiting for us to get on.

My sis took the wheels for the first half of our journey and I took over the return trip.

She was one hell of a rider. The buggy literally flew when it hit a hump.

I hopped on for a photo while this guy wanted to take the buggy from me. Pumping up the acceleration of the buggy required some thumb muscle power because you have to push a small lever with your thumb to keep the acceleration going. Otherwise, the engine would just stall, which it did on two occasions. As I got on to the final stretch of the road, I was using my wrist to keep the pressure of my thumb on the lever.

The largest part of the Qinghai Lake

The little children came with their little goats to ask tourists to take photos with them for a small fee. We have been warned by the tour guide to reject their requests as the prices hike after the photo shoot.

This pose is the first to come to several others

We caught sight of Discovery Channel playing live and I managed some shots before the owner shooed the young horse away from the female.

Alas, me on the wheels!

Nomads gathered by the big inscribed boulder

Back in the coach and on the road again. The next stop is the Xining Railway Station.

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