Dancing,Lakes and Grasslands

Nicholas Quirke was loving the landscapes he was seeing on 30 April 2011. The first thing after breakfast which, they had to wait for as it was not served till 8 am was to go and collect the car from the airport and this very simple transaction completed in less than 10 minutes was giving them the freedom to roam the mountains and farmlands that surrounded the city. They were driving about 30 miles to the immense Potatso National Park with a lake and mountain to navigate. The road to get there had not been surfaced and it was a dusty, bumpy journey though he did get to see some of the really beautiful farm buildings. They had intended to spend the day there and were disappointed on arrival to discover that they would not be able to climb the mountain. They were transported a further 5lm bus to the shore and began their walk with the other visitors around the lake perimeter. The views were beautiful and the haunting sight of a halo rainbow reflected in the lake provided them with one of many photo opportunities and a lot of fun. Visiting scenic spots feels like a very controlled and a very popular leisure activity in China and there is often little opportunity to go off and explore beyond the confines of the official paths. The sights you are led along are beautiful and are often the most stunning and beautiful but the sense of being alone in the great vast wilderness is not an option. Used to the ‘right to roam’ in the UK this regimentation provoked in him a need to ‘go rogue’ to leave the path and to see beyond the designated route. On the way to the Park he had spotted what looked like a temple and as their trip was shorter than expected with no mountain to climb they stopped on their way to another location to have a look. It turned out to be a disused theme park and was closed but the derelict exterior gave him an opportunity to take more pictures. The grasslands (farmland) though also a park was less formal and after they had stopped at a viewing platform to photograph the landscape from above they entered the park and roamed freely communing with the horses and walking along the shore of the lake. There had been drought warnings in the area and it was clear to see that the lake here had already receded and the stench of the stagnant water was overwhelming. The sky and scenery were dramatic and he could really feel himself in a foreign land. They returned to the town which was equally foreign and he found himself partaking it the town square dance. What started as a few people dancing to traditional Tibetan dance music grew as visitors joined the throng and the atmosphere of joy was completely infectious and even the reserved Peng engaged in the festivities . As labour day celebrations accelerated the main square in front of Giant Turtle Hill was filled with people dancing and the temples and town were lit up with colourful pretty lights. It was now packed and getting late and he needed to work and sleep and prepare for some mountain the next day

Leave a Reply