Eventually the Nescafe kicked in and we realized two things:
- Zhongdian is the destination, but you want a bus to Shangri-la.
- Buses going to Shangri-la often don't display their destination signboard and only stop in Qiaotou if they feel like it.
Investigating the options for travel to Tibet:
- overland would be awesome if you went with plenty of time, stacks of cash, and a handful of indestructible friendships;
- Waiting 8 days in this nowhere land, for an agency to organize the mythed permit is not on;
- The TTB can fly us in for 2570 yuan each, but the earliest is Wednesday because the next 2 national holidays are booked solid.
The expected Lhasa train completion is soon, and also the consequential effects on the region; and the fact that I am now closer than ever to a long desired destination; I bought the ticket.
Samosas and momo in a cosy Indian/Nepali/Tibetan/Chinese restaurant, we say our farewells from the edge of old town.