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Lijiang, Tiger Leaping Gorge 22/04/11 - 24/04/11

22/04/11 – Lijiang

Arrived at the station and shared the bus with two Swiss and a German guy. Upon arrival the German guy got off and the two Swiss got roped into a Y500 day trip from the hostel. I got showered and some breakfast and had a chat with Amy from London, then set off into the old town. After 10 minutes I was freezing and only had my shit flickers on so wanted to go back but I was totally lost and stayed that way for another hour.

Arriving back I chilled out for a while and then set back off again at around 15:30, this time away from the old town and onto the main road. I walked for about 45 minutes and then noticed a big golden spire sticking out from a hilltop so I cut onto the farms and walked towards it photographing yaks and avoiding farmers dogs as I went. It was a lot further and harder to find than I thought it would be but really worth it. I arrived and gates to see a derelict run down courtyard with a farmer herding cows around it. I carried on through a gate and found a pristine garden devoted to Buddhism and the Dali Lama, no tourists at all, only one or two monks going about their business. I found a Monk praying and banging a drum in the main building and after taking some pictures of the grounds, he came out and gave me a guided tour of the building. He only spoke Chinese so I didn’t benefit as much as I would have liked but he did give me an apple as a going away present.

After leaving I spent the next few hours trying to find my way back to the hostel. Eventually I did and got some food before bed.

23/04/11 – Tiger Leaping Gorge (Day 1)

A girl in the hostel had told me that once you get to the end of the trail, they charge Y350 to get back to the beginning in order to catch the bus back to Lijiang, they chose not to pay and added a 20 mile walk to their itinerary. Because of this I decided to get the bus straight to Tina’s Hostel and do the trek backwards. I was still ill to the point of almost not going so I thought it might also be easier as the 28 bends would be downhill instead of uphill. I saw English food on the menu at Tina’s and decided to top up on energy by ordering omelette and chips. I felt the negative effects of a full stomach when I then started the journey though. I started off up the mountain and quickly realised that disposing of all your bodies fluids every 20 minutes for a few days means it’s almost impossible to climb for more than a few seconds. I rested after every 10 or so steps and then met two girls coming down who said they had been coming downhill all day which completely demoralised me. I then started to think how lonely it will be doing the trek backwards (it turned out to be less so as I met everyone coming the other way).

After about 2 hours I was at the top and thrilled to see that it was flat path for as far as I could see. I spent the next two hours happily walking along looking at the amazing views and waterfalls, getting attached by a crazy horse and saying hello to the people I saw (about 10 groups altogether).

I arrived at the Tea Horse at 4pm just as it started to rain and spoke to an English couple who were blowing their kids inheritance on a £12,000 personal guided tour around china. After this I ate food with them and spent the rest of the night having a few beers around a fire with all the other trekkers.

24/04/11 – Tiger Leaping Gorge (Day 2)

Up in the morning at around 8.30 and had apple and banana pancake for breakfast before setting out to complete the journey. It was a bit cloudier that day so not so much to see. I spent another hour or two climbing before heading down the 28 bends, this is supposed to be a killer going up but going down it took me about five or ten minutes. Before getting to the Naxi house I met an English couple and a Vietnamese guy. After that, many more people appeared, including someone trying to sell me weed.

I got into the start town and some random guy got me in his minivan for Y30 back to Lijiang, there was some Chinese tourist looking girls in there so it seemed ok. Before long I realised that I was in the local delivery / post / people smuggling van as we seemed to be stopping every 6 seconds picking these and people up and his phone didn’t stop ringing the whole time. I felt like I was in the Chinese GTA.

Getting back to Lijiang I booked into the hostel and went for food. I had been told on the Gorge that there was a Pizza Hut in town which I decided to visit. Y80 for a pizza with stuffed crust, I just presumed it was the novelty that warranted the price and didn’t realise that I was in fact ordering a dustpan lid. Arriving back at the hostel I realised I was about to run out of money so I went to the ATM and managed to block my credit card somehow. I was lucky that the only other card I had with me worked.

Posted by sharpting 14:30 Archived in China Tagged tiger gorge lijiang leaping

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