June 13

11:50 PM


            Today we visited the Tian Shan mountains and the Tian Chi (heavenly lake).  It was not at all what I expected.  Urumqi is a town in middle of the desert – the farthest city in the world from the ocean, as a matter of fact.  But the mountains, watered by the snow caps, have lush vegetation and running water.  It was very beautiful.  We spent several hours by the lake.  I skipped rocks and climbed rocks.


The Heavenly Lake




Mountain goats



            At tonight’s dinner we had (among other things) a whole goat and many speeches and gan bei’s ("bottom’s up!" – 12 bottles of red wine), as Nadine will be leaving us soon.  It was touching.

            Tonight I went to a bar.  I didn’t really enjoy it.

            Our guide here was Stephen, young and brash.