296 Kms from Zhangye
Straight up towards the Tibetan Plateau we quickly left any warm rays of autumn behind. The roads were long, windy, and treacherous at times. The lively frontier town market was full of a mixture of Tibetans and Muslim Tus (distant cousins of the Mongols) This place, completely out of the tourist loop, held a secret jewel at the Wutun Si Monastery. The monastery was an authentic working monastery with happy artists busily painting or carving and the rest of the monks engrossed in a Puja ceremony. We spent a pleasant sunny afternoon in this beehive of activity and we felt really welcome, especially after being invited to eat with them. The massive vats full of noodles and chunks of yak and the urns of butter tea were emptied into the awaiting bowls.