The Sham Trekking route leads through high desert (~12,000 ft) to self-sufficient villages along streams. We walked from Likir to Tarutse, Yangtang Topko to Hemis Shukpachen. Only the first and last show up on Google maps. Each of these locations has a couple of houses offering welcoming homestay accomodations. The path to Hemis starts out over the hill behind the homestay (a 2 hr hike each way for school children)! The farmers raise wheat, vegetables, sheep and cattle.
The panorama was stitched from 58 images shot using one of my hiking poles as a monopod.
Asia is the biggest continent on Earth, a darling little gem floating around in space.Hm, what is Asia? Who's in on it?China and India are safe bets for Asian nations. Korea, Japan, Thailand, you're fine.Europe? No. Europe would sort of be on the "Asian continent" if not for those pesky Ural mountains dividing things up in the middle, and then also the whole lineage of kings and wealth and nations and the EU and all that "give me my respect" stuff.Russia would probably be happiest as its own continent, so for now we'll leave it in "Eurasia" and just hope the natural gas supplies keep flowing.Pakistan and Afghanistan are dang close to Asia, but politically they show up in "Middle East" news stories an awful lot. Verdict: Eurasia.I guess we'll actually have to consider everything from Turkey on eastward to be "Eurasian", although the moniker seems overlappitory of the territory.The Asian economy is now officially raging like a wild furnace of lava that consumes everything in its path. Japan has had the largest individual economy in Asia for decades, but it is forecast that both India and China will outstrip Japan within twenty years.China is the largest holder of United States debt and is positioned to become the world's next superpower, provided that Godzilla doesn't return and decide to stomp everybody back into the Shang Dynasty.Text by Steve Smith.