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China West (03) by Yo NAGAYA

シニンからさらに西へ向かい、海抜2500m超の青海(チンハイ)湖を目指した。道路の状態は悪くは無いが、雪解け水を通すための土管埋設工事がいたるところで行なわれ、道路に大穴が開いておりその度に一車線通行か迂回となる。昼間は見通しが良いので工事区域は明白だが、夜間の運転は命がけかも知れない。
冬は極寒の地となるチンハイ高原は、この時期の短い夏の間だけが緑豊かな牧草地帯となる。道路の所々で、家畜の横断風景に出合う。しかし大型トラックなどは、多少は減速するも家畜の群れを蹴散らさんばかりに突っ込んで行く。
ここで初めて『毛牛』を見た。中国でマオ・ニュウと呼ばれ、その名の通り、長毛に被われた牛だ。いわゆる、ヤク、と呼ばれる牛で、記憶が正しければ、世界的に飲まれている乳酸菌飲料のヤクルトは、このヤクのミルクを発酵させた飲み物がそのルーツである。毛牛の他には羊やヤギが家畜の代表種。これらの家畜を追っていのはチベット人カウボーイと、チベット犬だ。ちなみにこの犬種、飼い主には従順だがそれ以外の人間にはかなり警戒心が強く、攻撃的になるそうだ。

Driving further west from Xining, we headed for Ching Hai Lake located at an altitude of around 2,500m above sea level. Road condition was not so bad, except there were numerous road constructions where they dug huge holes for burying drain pipes for snow runoff. Every time we had to pass the site, one or both lanes were closed for a short detour. Since we were driving during the daytime, it was fine, but I would hate to imagine driving at night on these roads.
Although the winter at Ching Hai Plateau tortures residents with harsh weather, it becomes beautifully rush green pasture during the short summer such as this time of the year. Livestock were seen crossing the road here and there as we drove through the countryside. 18-wheelers seemed to be oblivious of those animals on the road and they plow into the pack although they slowed down a little. Miraculously the animals escaped injury, most of the time.
For the first time in my life, I saw “Hairy Cattle”. In Chinese, they are called “Mao (hair) New (cattle)”. As the name shows, they sport really long hair. English name is Yak, and if my memory serves well, globally famous lactobacillus beverage known as Yakurt has its origin in the fermented milk of this animal. Aside from Yak, the Tibetan cowboys drive sheep and goats with help from Tibetan dogs who are quite obedient to masters, but ferocious to others.

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毛牛に潰される!!
Stampede!!

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なぜかトラックと言えばこんな色が多い。闘牛なら逆に牛が突進しそう?
By some reason, most of the Chinese trucks are painted in this color. If this were a bull fight, these Yaks would crash into the trucks.

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チベット人カウボーイが家畜を追う。
A Tibettan cowboy drives livestock across a road.
[PR]
by ipa_ibaraki | 2010-07-12 00:35 | 長屋 陽