The past few days have been hectic. After finishing our project on the 5th, we swiftly departed from Yoloshi and headed for Dora again. Upon arriving in Dora, we finally had the privilege of taking showers—after 5 days in the middle of nowhere, the hot water was much appreciated. When we were all clean, we decided to go on a hike the next day, up a mountain about an hour from Dora. On the morning of the 6th, we rose and ate breakfast before departing for the drive. Once we had driven about two minutes away from Tenpa’s house, however, we turned up a dirt road… something totally unexpected. We spent the next hour pickaxing mud off the road and glancing down the steep terrain below. When we finally reached our destination, sandwiched between two tall mountains, we all stumbled out of the cars to enjoy a picnic of instant noodles, watermelons, and pancakes.
Stomachs full, we decided to take on one of the mountains beside us… some of our group got as high as 14,500 feet, scaling up the side with no clear path. Unfortunately, we had to turn around before we summited because it started to drizzle. We descended, headed back to Dora, and prepared for our departure to Kangding the following day. The 7th consisted of the short drive to Kangding followed by an incredible night. We explored and shopped for a while, got drinks and treats at the Himalayan Cafe (a Western style cafe), danced in the square with the locals, ate fried dumplings for dinner, and finished it all off with some vanilla ice cream with cookie crumble from a local fast food shop. The lights at night in Kangding are incredible. Following our feasting, we began to head home and walked out the door to see the hills alight with white, twinkling lights. The bridges, the buildings, everything was lit in a spectrum of colors. It was awe inducing. We took pictures with everyone, found some Finnish people to talk to, and skated with locals. It was an incredible night, and while we’re beginning to feel more ready to come home, we know we will miss these amazing experiences once we do. The 8th was a travel day—we drove for around 7 hours back to Chengdu where we’ll be until we leave on the 10th. We ate and shopped a bit and can’t wait for what tomorrow brings.