Orient Express 09 travel blog

on theb road to the gorge

the mountain we are going to tomorrow

the close up that everyone says gave me rabies

the mountain from the other side, sort of

On the bus for an hour and a half to Tiger Leaping Gorge. It was a magic ride with spectacular scenery and some hairy moments, with the bus more often than not on the wrong side of the road, overtaking other vehicles, on bends, on hills, blind spots. Dont ask me how it works. It just does and we are still alive.

We had a photo stop, and I got a very good close up of a monkey. I thought there was only one in the cage but whilst I was taking its picture another appeared from nowhere and scratched me.

Dont worry, the skin isn’t broken, Ive had my rabies shots and I smothered the area with anti bacterial. The foam from my mouth??? Dont worry... I’ll just wipe it away...

No seriously, it wasn’t being nice or nasty. It wasn’t trying to hurt me or it could have.... It was my fault I just didn’t see it.

The scenery all the way through the gorge area is just superb. Another perfect day in paradise.

Do you know we are a stones throw from Shangri La. Nobody knows where exactly it is... 8 towns around this area have renamed themselves Shangri La after the area described in Lost Horizon( The book by James Hilton???? I’m not sure if I have his name right...)

So we are claiming Shangri La as its here somewhere close by and its so glorious here that it very well could be here.

Lots of pines, no blue gums here though, maybe the altitude is too low in the gorge? I don’t know. We’ve seen many blue gums in other places.

The walk in the gorge to the ‘end’ was approx 2.6 ks. All flat on paths. Many people with loudspeakers calling out to not stop, move quickly, stay close to the inner edge to avoid falling rocks.

At the bottom we took our photos of the white water area, bought a beautiful pineapple ice cream/icypole thing and then headed back. Apparently they used to have white water rafting here in the gorge but a couple of casualties put paid to that.

Helen and I only walked a little way back. We caught a rickshaw thingie. It was pulled by 1 guy with a rope over one shoulder. It was very hard work and we felt bad, but as we decided that is his job, and he relies on us to buy his services or he starves. So we were actually doing a community service!

Back at the entrance we had what Jason and Lili called a picnic. Sandwiches... sort of egg and bacon? Or ham? Sort of club sandwich style but not...

A banana, an apple, and fresh bread and jam. The bread was half sliced. We had a sharpish knife, which I used to cut the bread as best I could, but the jam got spread with a chinese soup spoon.

A weird thing that we didn’t understand though... on the way to the gorge and then again on our way back to the hotel we crossed a bridge that we were told was 30 years old and dangerous. So the bus stopped and we had to get off and walk across – I assume in case the bridge collapsed. The stupid thing is that it crossed when we did, so if the bridge collapsed we would have been on it anyway. None of us could quite work it out. The bridge seemed very well built and solid to me as opposed to many of the other structures we’ve been on.

There are a lot of market gardens here. Well set out in neat rows. Lots of corn and chillis again. Some of the bits though had been made ready for replanting and had green stalks of something, (not corn as that was all dried off) crisscrossed over the ground in some places and chucked randomly in others.

By now, Helen is really feeling unwell with a filthy head cold and I have an earache and sore throat. One of the other women in the group had one, and she passed it to her friend, and now to us. David and Kevin have been sneezing too. David says I’ll be lucky to be allowed to fly if I still have the temperature that I clearly have now. My face is on fire. Frankly we both feel like rubbish!

Tonight we had a western type meal which we appreciated, and now the others have gone out shopping again. Helen and I just decided we’d ‘guts and go’. Which we have - 7.30 and we are in our room ready to die.

Our chinese laundry is done, bits of clothing hanging everywhere, and we are finished for the day. Weirdly we are watching the English speaking channel, which has a program on Li Jiang on it right now, so we are saying... seen it .. know where that is etc.

Tomorrow evening back to Kunming, but a magnificent day planned before that, still in this Li Jiang region.

The beggars part 2.

tonight on the way back from dinner Helen saw the very disabled guy, upright? on a skateboard pushing himself along. She assumes it was to get ready for the evenings begging. So he can take himself i seems under hus own steam. I didnt see him, so I dont know what uprigh means... I know she didnt mean standing up, and I cant ask her as shes in the room tring to not drown in snot, and Im in the lobby.

Thank you to the people who send us emails. We love receiving them. Its good to know its worthwhile.x

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