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Pugsley's Travels.....

It appears that one of my pet pugs has decided to "see the world" - it was all rather unexpected, I wasn't made aware of the escape until AFTER he left the country!

So here is Pugsley's diary.  He is travelling with his "Uncle Stan" and "Aunty Philippa"...

29 March 2007... 

Hi mum

Sorry to sneak off like that but I've decided it's time I see the world.  

I'm off to find my ancestral roots, learn more about
other canine cultures, learn more about
eat lots of schmackos and maybe find a play mate.

Don't worry about me - I'll write as often as I can.

Lots of luv

Pug Dog

PS don't let that pansy koala muscle in on n my patch!





6 April 2007

Hi Mum,

Well its been a week in China and what a whirlwind.


Day 1

Thai Airways looked after me well from Sydney and the service was excellent. They always seem to have a full bowl of water or packet of Schmackos on hand. The 9 and half hours were relatively uneventful. We stopped over in Bangkok for the night and I convinced Uncle Stan to put us up in the Novatel at the airport which was a great opportunity to shower and lie in a warm comfy bed for a few hours. Bangkok was as hot and steamy as it always is according to Aunty Philippa.


Day 2-5 - Beijing

We were then back to the plane and four hours later we were in China. What can I tell you about my first impressions?? Beijing is a city going through incredible change and rapid development. There is not a city block untouched by new constructions. There are literally thousands of high rise buildings under construction both commercial and apartment blocks. The city is absolutely gearing itself for the 2008 Olympics and locals are actually quite excited. Traffic is horrendous and there is less regard for pedestrians than anywhere else in Asia (so Uncle Stan tells me). The traffic is getting worse every day as there are 1000 new cars entering the streets of Beijing alone - this also means around 999 new drivers - so driving ability is mixed and frightening. The cars are all so new as well. None seem to be older than a couple of years and there are BMWs and Mercedes everywhere!

There aren't many dogs I have to say....its been a little lonely and scary at times. Some of the cafe owners look at me quite strangely too but I haven't quite worked out why.

Food here is great - like me the Chinese eat everything - there is no animal or part of an animal they wont eat. Uncle Stan and Aunty Philippa have been a bit selective and squeamish but I'm loving it. They Chinese like eating bone as well! I enjoyed some pork spare ribs last night and it was practically all spare rib. Last night I wanted to order the bull's penis, duck jaw and duck stomach stew. Aunty Philippa wouldn't let me and I had to settle for Spicy Tofu, Beef and Pork Dumplings.

We've done the major sights including Tiannamen Square, the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City. Uncle Stan and Aunty Philippa got excited about the shopping - Uncle Stan picked up a Goretex Jacket for one tenth the price in Australia which he seems very pleased about.

We also visited one of the restored sections of the Great Wall. I went searching for the rabbits which I though would be in great abundance on the other side of the wall. I couldn't find any but given the incredible appetites people have here I assumed that some of the locals have already rounded them all up.


Day 6-7 - Xi'an

We took the train last night from Beijing. The railway station was incredibly busy but we managed to get onto our sleeper without incident. Everyone else seemed to complain about the space. I thought it was plenty. They also complained about the squat toilets. Once again I couldn't see what their problem was. They seemed perfectly fine to me and frankly I particularly enjoyed the fragrances. I spent hours sniffing around and nearly missed getting off! Today we checked out the Terracotta Warriors. They really are spectacular although they have now built a massive tourist complex over and around the pits containing the warriors. Its a bit gauche and if one more tout tries to sell me a genuine terracotta warrior trinket I may have to renounce my non-agression pact with China.

Today we hired a tandem bike and rode around the top of the city walls that still surround Xian. It was a fascinating experience and I was disappointed we didn't continue on after 90 minutes. It may have had something to do with Uncle Stan and Aunty Philippa doing all the pedalling but I was still dirty.

Well that's my first week in China. I will upload some photos at my next stop. We catch another train tonight and tomorrow night are spending a night on the Tibetan grasslands.

Lots of luv




Day 8-10 - Xian - Xiahe - Lagmusi
Well back on an overnight train today and this one was a little down market from the last one.  The conditions were cramped for the bipeds, too cold  so very little sleep.  For me all was cosy as usual and I enjoyed hanging around the squat toilets again.

Xiahe is a smaller town (only 1 million people) and is where we start to encounter Tibetan people and culture for the first time.  There is a distinct change in attitude. Tibetans are extremely friendly (and fairer in bargaining) and seem to bend over backwards to make you feel welcome.  I also don't get strange looks here and I'm told this is because most tibetans are Buddhists who don't eat meat.  Although there must be enough non-budhists here because Yak is on the menu everywhere.  I shared a Yak burger with Uncle Stan which was quite tasty.  I plan to write to the good people at Schmackos and suggest they introduce a Yak flavour line.

We start to hit monasteries now and of course monks and pilgrims.  The pilgrims are extremely devout and are known to travel 100s of kilometres prostrating the whole way.  One family we met travelled to Lhasa many years ago.  They took a year to get there - spent 40 days at the Potala Palace and then turned around and were home in another year.

From Xiahe we travelled along the new highways and tunnels built by the Chinese to a mountain village called Langmusi.  It started to snow here when we arrived and we enjoyed breathtaking mountain views.  We hung out in a great cafe for meals run by a former provincial champion basketballer.  I spent most of the time chatting with the pigs, goats and mastifs that seem increasingly common up here and which roam freely about town.

Day 11 - Tibetan Grasslands
Today we travelled onto the Tibet grasslands which are aptly named.  As far as natural vegetation goes there is nothing for thousands of kilometres except grass and the occassional brush tree.  This is where the Nomads live and herd their Yaks, horses and some goats.  We joined a small nomadic family for the night at their home which was magical. Naturally we dine on Yak dumplings and Yak soup. The vegetarians did get a chance to enjoy Yak free equivalents as well.  I just gnawed on a yak leg bone with my new found Mastiff friends who litter all the nomadic homes (as guard dogs).  We got to bring the Yak herd in and then enjoyed a night of music with a local Tibetan musician who is a major star in Tibet (hold concerts for thousands in Lhasa!).  Uncle Stan and Aunty Philippa got to enjoy an outside toilet which was literally a hole in the ground (it was a little chilly at 3am when the mercury dropped to -5).

Overall a fantastic night and it was tough saying goodbye to the Mastiff family (and their bipeds).

Day 12-13 Gou Er Gou - Chengdu
Today we descended from 3500m down a valley which was rapidly being developed by 6-7 different dams down its entire length.  China is developing rapidly and is desperate for new power sources. We ended up in Chengdu which is renowed for its Panda breeding and research facility.  I snuck in Uncle Stans pack and frankly couldn't see what the fuss was all about.  There  are 42 pandas at the facility ranging from 6 months to 18 years of age (there are 800 left in the wild).  The babies seem to be the big attraction and I have to admit they were ugly from my perspective - they just look like the toy bear I rip up all the time (which didn't go down well when I tried to play with one just like I do at home). 2 hours of cooing and ahhing and I was ready to vomit. At last we left the place and settled into a nice hotel ready for the flight to Lhasa and 3900m.

All is well and I'm making plenty of new friends. We start head into the mountains soon, more yaks, monasteries, mountains and of course Everest Base camp in a few days.

Love to all at home..






24 April 2007

Im sorry to be posting that Pugs, his Aunt Philippa and Uncle Stan have had to cut their trip short due to a car accident 5 hours outside of Lhasa.  The most important thing is that all three are back home in Oz, albeit nursing some injuries - not of a life threatening nature.  It is hoped that the three advetureres will once again take flight....  Wishing Stan, Philippa and Pugs the speediest of recoveries - we can't wait to have them back  home in Canberra.

27 April 2007

Hi Mum,

Yes I am behaving myself. I'm being looked after by Aunty Philippa's parents in Brisbane and spending much
time with their whippet, Biffo - whose legs are much too long for me to keep up with!

Aunty Philippa is recovering well and in fact had her stitches removed from her cheek today.  Her internal
injuries are also on the mend and she enjoyed a joyful birthday today amongst family and friends.

Uncle Stan is also doing well. He did suffer a crack to his noggin resulting in a concussion and bruising
of his neck and shoulder muscles.  However there was no bleeding.  He was a bit out of it for a few days
but the rest has done him well and he is more or less fully recovered.

We should be home in Canberra next week and I will be back at my desk on May 10th as promised.  Pass on my
thanks to everyone for their thoughts and well wishes.

We are all on the mend and looking forward to the cold weather in Canberra!!!  I should be ble to update the
final days of the trip in the next day or so! It really was a wonderful trip up to the accident and
even after that we were well looked after by many wonderful and friendly people of Tibet.

I'll write again soon


Contact Details
Felicity Prideaux
Murrumbateman (near Canberra), ACT, Australia
Phone : 0429 636691
Email : pugs@hugapug.com.au

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