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Day 51 Qinghai Lake [China 2011]

June 15, 2012
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Day 51 Qinghai Lake 青海湖 [Recap of China 2011]

July 16, 2011

We drove from Xining to Qinghai Lake, through green grassy hills, by tents and motorcycles and trucks, and herders with sheep and yaks, and blooming rape flowers. White sheep dotted the hills. Qinghai Lake is the largest in China. A few quiet streets lead down to the waterfront, crowded with horses and tourists. The lake was deep and blue. The clouds were whipped like mashed potatoes on the mountains, and not a single one hung over the lake. The mountains sloped into fields of yellow rape blossoms down to the lake shore. We took a boat to Erlangjian 二郎剑, a saberlike sandbar in the lake, where kids played in the shallow water as if on a polished mirror.

By colorful cargo trucks and a gas station where goats ate garbage we had a sumptuous lunch at one of several Sichuan restaurants standing in a row. We droe to Bird Island 鸟岛, where we walked a windowed corridor and watched the birds nesting. The ground outside was covered in eggs.

We rode a bus up to see the cormorants on Cormorant Island 鸬鹚岛, a tall rock outcropping in the lake. The cormorants were nesting on rocks and cliffs, the green grass grew on Bird Island, and down the hill were sand dunes.

Driving around the lake, we saw herders on motorcycles and in tents, with yaks and lots of sheep, on green hills like Tibet.

We returned to Xining and ate Xinjiang food (potatoes, chicken, etc.) in a restaurant on a night street.


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