Mar 23, 2012
Jun 01, 2012
Tiger Leaping Gorge had brought out our active side so for our second day/night in Dali we decided to ditch the city and go on yet another walk and stay a night on the mountain looking over the city and it's huge fresh water lake. The hostel in Dali all be it nice, was a bit too 'flash-packer' for us so we were glad to get rid of our bags and escape scenic China again. I have to admit that we were still feeling pretty sore and weak from TLG so we cheated and got the gondola the majority of the way up. It was only supposed to be a 4hr walk to the guest house once up there but ended being stuck for time as we'd spent the whole morning walking around getting lost whilst trying to find the gondola. For some reason there was a giant sized mahjong board at the start of the walk which we took a photo of but decided not to play, it would've taken hours (especially without knowing the rules!)! The sun was out, we had the path almost all to ourselves and the views and walk itself were a lot nicer than we'd been expecting, rather than TLG the view was the mountains we were actually on rather than the opposite range. We were supposed to have amazing views of the lake but it was too foggy. None of it was that hard going and we didn't really bother stopping at any point to make sure that we made it to the guesthouse before the sun went down which luckily we just about managed. We received such a friendly welcome from the family there, there were two other British tourists staying one of which spoke Chinese so we had him to act as translator for us on a few occasions. There was one cosy room that served as living/dining/smoking room for us, the family and the five dogs they owned. None of them were the same breed but they were all pedigrees. Like a large proportion of Yunnan's dogs one of them was giant, made to look even bigger by its very long, curly hair. Two were small puppies that spent the whole time scrapping. We had a family meal cooked by the sweetest old Chinese guy who couldn't speak a word of English but was set on making sure we ate until we couldn't move. He had cooked about six different dishes, one of which consisted of freshly caught chicken courtesy of one the dogs who had obviously gotten bored that afternoon but there was no point in wasting it. All of it was cooked; Head, feet and lots of unidentifiable parts. We would politely eat all we could and all that seemed to be left was joints and bones, however the old guy seemed to want to finish off everything we ate (his son told him off.) All of the old guys that worked on the mountain came round for a smoke with the old man and I must say I have never seen such a rowdy group of old boys in my life. They were laughing like they were very drunk, which they weren't as none of the Chinese can hold their drink so they just don't bother. All the beer is around 3%, easy to drink but tastes almost like shandy. Cups of green tea and fruit were constantly being handed to us the whole evening by the younger of the family. It was fun to see squabbling between the family members (including the dogs), it felt a lot more like a home than a guesthouse.