04/10/10 – 09/10/2010
I got to learn another one of Chinese habbits: their estimates of duration and distance are never quite right….10 minutes would be half an hour, 1 km would be 3 km..etc so my transport duration from Chengdu to Lijijang would be 12 hour train plus 5 hour bus, instead it was a 15 hour train and 11 hour bus!
I didn’t make any hostel reservation so I tried several hostels on my arrival, but seen that it was still Chinese holiday week all hostels were fully booked. Luckily I met an older Australion couple and they were kind enough to guide me to their guesthouse, which wasn’t really a typical guesthouse but more like a sleepover place for artists….Alex, one of the owners, was quite the character, absolutely stoned out of his mind all day&x1F60A
I rented a bike to visit some nearby small towns; in one of them there was a music festival so with some chinese rock music on the background I got to see the little town.
Lijiang is a nice city with a pretty old town part, however very touristic. Packed with little shops in every small street you walk through, this combined with too much chinese people (were like little ants) made me crave however for some open nature and nice views.
And this was exactly what i got doing the Tiger leaping gorge the following days!! It’s a canyon on the Yangtze river with a total length of 15 to 20 km. Legend says that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at the narrowest point, hence the name. It was very intensive, even more because I was carrying both my bags with me….
First day I hiked together with a french couple, but after second day demotivated by the bad weather they took a taxi /bus to another town, like most people did actually. I went on though, neglecting the consistent pouring rain and persistent to finish the track! Although very slippery (fell down on my ass couple of times) it was really nice, crossing waterfalls, enjoying the amazing panorama..and eventually ,made it down the river where the tiger jumped (getting back up to the next guesthouse killed me almost however).
Initially I was planning to go to Shrangi La, a little ‘Tibetan’ town up north. But after having had the update on the weather forecast for the following days (rain, rain and……rain) I decided to go southwards to Dali directly, a place which lots of people suggested me as a cool place to chill!