雪寶鼎三日騎馬遊 / Horse riding to Shar Dung Ri Mountain (3)

Day 3—寺廟/Monastery

It was raining again in the morning and did not stop when we departed, so we had to put on raincoats. I guess the Korean guy going to the ice mountain today would probably ended up like the poor French group with low visibility.
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The guide staying at the camp yesterday made some bread as breakfast today. Really impressive to see these muffins made out of wood fire and their simple cooking pots. 100830 雪寶頂 260

My guide warned me not to move in the raincoat as the horse is extremely sensitive to the sounds of raincoat. Indeed, a small move would make the horse run. It is actually very convenient, when I needed the horse to walk faster, I just moved my arm a bit and the noise would make the horse do what I want. Highly effective!

It is our last day so we are heading back to Songpan. The guides said they would bring us to see the monastery where the 1-day tour people went and we will have a lunch break there.

The drizzling rain made my feet completely wet and freezing numb. At noon time, seeing a white stupa did make me feel like approaching liberation.

The stupa was built upon a huge mountain of mani stones. The wall of prayer wheels was even more impressive than the one we saw 2 days ago, as if the whole village was surrounded.
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I expected the monastery to be locked as usual, since it was lunch time and monks should be away somewhere. Yet the main shrine was open with a few young monks inside. They approved us to enter and take a look. We saw a sand mandala inside. They were in the middle of a 7 days puja hence the shrine was open. My impression was that this part of the area was full of Bon and majority of buddhist monastery would belong to Gelupa, so it was a real surprise to see HH Sakya Trizin’s photo on the shrine. It turned out that I stepped into the only  Sakya monastery in this region. Felt really blessed.
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The rain stopped completely when we stepping out of the monastery. Then we continued the trip and got back to Songpan at 13:30.  Thus ended the 3-day tour.
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—ShunJiang Horse Trek is not far from the Songpan Bus Station. It is well documented in the Lonely Planet and probably more famous among foreign backpackers than the locals.
—The tour cost has increased drastically after the 2007 earthquake and is now 220 RMB/day. There are trips lasting from one day to 4 days to pick.
—It is wet in the mountain so waterproof hiking shoes and jacket is a must. You will be really thankful with a good pair of shoes when walking down the muddy and slippery trails (generally horse up walk down). 

關於 bella.chao
a simple wandering being on less beaten tracks in samsara



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