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On the hill of Hezuo

I believed it was definitely the town of Xiahe. Because I had followed the call of conductor "Xiahe!"at bus terminal of Linxia city. "Photographing at Tibet culture area of Gansu province in China" was the purpose for the travel. And my destination was the small town in the mountains, called "Xiahe". It's also famous for Tibetan Buddhist temple. I had plan starting from Lanzou, stopping over at Muslim town Linxia, then visiting the Xiahe. It also meant "Altitude adaptation". From Lanzou at 1500m altitude to Linxia at 1900m, then Xiahe at 2900m, I thought it's a perfect plan.

The Xiahe where I got to was much bigger city than I had expected. I thought there was big difference from the photo in the travel site. "Local town in China seems to grow so fast" I tried to think like that. But landscape around the city itself looked so different from the photo. It should be rocky mountains but here is grassland hills.

However once I saw the magnificent landscape of grasslands, I thought the difference was a trivial thing. The grass land hills attracted me to climb up. I getting start climbing on the hill. In Sunday afternoon, the sunshine in the high land was so bright and the sky was blue. After passing through the residential area and the prayers wheels for Tibetan pilgrims, the path went straight up to the praying flags on top of the hill.

When I got to the praying flags, I saw the path stretched to another hill.
Many peoples are on the hill. A family going to a field with their horse. The other ones trekked shading with parasols. I kept climbing on the path. When I looked up the top of the hill, I saw two people were standing there. (How many times have I seen those kind of scene on the hills in Gansu province?) I walked up to the top. It's really hard to climb up in such anoxya situation. It might be over 3000m in altitude. At last, I got close to them. Two girls in jeans sat on the grass and they were singing.

We saluted each other. "Nihao""Nihao"A bunch of snacks and cell phone was placed on the grass. (I'm sure the scenery of daily life in the world is now becoming same.) Then I got start my poor writing communication to them. But, even my writing communication was terrible, it didn't matter at all. Because we had a lot of time in Sunday afternoon. The two girls were called Douma and Ludou. They were student of music course of normal school. In the beginning, they were very nervous in front of the camera. But gradually, they got be relaxed and started posing as they like. (I think It's a good sign to me)

"Next pose"Douma stood up with saying that. She rose up the right arm in the sky and waved her body. Then she pointed down with the left hand. Douma was melting into the background. It looked like Goddess blessing the harvest fields.

We took photo each other and talked for a while. We signed the name on the arm each other. Then I said good bye to them. When I got apart from them, two girls started singing again with the music from cell phone. It's top of the hill at 3500m altitude. No one would be disturbed by their full voices.
I had gone down the hill for a while and looked back. I saw the small figure of Ludou on top of the hill. Douma must be sit down.

I had to go back to Linxia once. After walking around the grasslands, I took the bus to Linxia. "Xiahe is nice place. Must come back tomorrow" I thought so.
However, I have some story after that. Next day, I took the bus for Xiahe again. But the town where I arrived was completely different place from the town of the day before. There were no grass hills, no Douma nor Ludou. Above all, the size of the town was much smaller than the former one. Somehow I felt strong taste of Tibetan culture from it. And there were big Tibetan temple and monastery too. All the story seemed like an illusion to me.
Yes. I had got to real Xiahe. "So what's the yesterday's city?" It took one more day to find out the city was "Hezuo"

Oct. 2008

Today's piece
" Top of the hill " Hezuo, Gansu province, China 2008

fumikatz osada photographie