Tiger Leaping Gorgeous!!!

Trip Start Sep 04, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2013

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nothing much to report about both Kunming and Lijiang during our final leg of China to be honest - it was all about the 'Gorge'!! We saw very little of Kunming as we spent most of the time scrambling for another Vietnam Visa (because we (Kala!) cocked the dates up on our first one ha ha!!)! There's a nice park there....erm.....and they are having a subway built. Our bus tactic of 'get off where the majority of people get off' paid off during our visit to Lijiang, as our hostel was not easy to find from the train station!! Lijiang consists of the new, more developed town and the 'old town' where the tourists LINE the cobbled streets for a bit of market ACTION!! Apparently it's the number one place in China for one-night stands! Interesting. Or not.
Right, the 'Gorge'. Our team of 5 set off on Saturday for the ascent. Kala and I were joined by a couple of cool American dudes - Jeremy - a genius Chinese Medicine student who liked his layers (Karl?) and Jimmy - advertising king and former gay cruise and naked cruise saxophone player!! The fifth member was a Chinese guy whose Chinese name I didn't understand so he said to call him 'Quint' or 'Chint' or somet. 'Clint' it is then! Oh, and we were also joined by a little Chinese man on a horse just waiting for one of us to buckle and need a ride (for a small price, of course!!). We thought none of us would need him, but he knew......it wasn't his first time!
The first 3 or so UPHILL hours in the midday sun were BRUTAL to be honest, our cocky Chinese friend knew it was only a matter of time......and it was Jimmy who was his victim!! First his bag, then himself to be carried by the POOR FECKIN HORSE!!! The Chinese guy was 6 stone wet through.......Jimmy.......was not!! Ha ha!!! Still, he played the role well and enjoyed himself!!
A well-deserved break at one of the few huts up the side of the mountain......
CHINESE LADY: "You sit down, you rest, you sit..."
ME: "erm...ok"
CHINESE LADY: "You need water, water, drink, cold water, drink, very hot..."
ME: "No thankyou"
CHINESE LADY: " you need banana, nana, banana....fruit, nana, banana"
ME: "er...no thankyou, I'm ok"
CHINESE LADY: "Marijuana?"
I'm tryin to climb a FECKIN MOUNTAIN HERE!!! That's not gonna make it happen for me!! A lunch stop was well-needed and Jeremy, whose Mandarin was top notch, had no problems in ordering his. Having said that, at breakfast the next morning his 'tones' were just slightly out, and instead of ordering a fried egg, he asked for a BOMB!!! We pressed on, negotiated the 'vertical' 28 bends and finally hit the summit where we all had a photo or 2! Clint loved his 'jump in the photo' photos!! SERIOUSLY HARD GRAFT, but what a view of the gorge!! Superb! Kala was made of tough stuff today to get up! The girl done good!!! I think I hear her mutter the words 'I really need a horse' at one point but I chose to ignore her!! Too expensive!!!!! The route down was equally as impressive and meandered past mountain goats to our hostel for the night, which had a 'smashing' view of the MASSIVE Haba Snow Mountain (I think that was the one anyway).
The morning after took the 5 of us right down to the waters edge to 'feel the MIGHT of the River Yangtze!!' We took the 600 steps route (CAN'T WAIT to come back up that!!) and found ourselves at the waters edge for some more snaps! Now, 'Tiger Leaping Gorge' is so named because apparently a tiger 'leapt' across the gorge many years ago when escaping a hunter..............bollocks! That didn't happen! Waaaaaay too far! Not unless it was called 'BATTLECAT' and it had HE-MAN on the back of it!!! The 600 steps FUDGED us all as predicted and then it was onto a well-deserved 'beff sang wich' for lunch before heading back to Lijiang!! Another thing I love about the Chinese people is that when you ask them to take your photo, they get stuck right in and take about 5 or 6 different shots at different angles!! Don't mind a bit of that!!! A top couple of days with a top bunch of people!! One of China's highlights for us!!
Apart from passing through Heqing (beautiful) and me helping an elderly lady 'double-bag' her sick from the windy roads (not beautiful), the journey to Jinghong was uneventful. Jinghong is where our China chapter comes to a close and from here we enter Laos!
I think it's fair to say that we're both ready to leave China and visit somewhere else after 5 weeks. It's a country that houses some of the most beautiful sights that we'll see during this year, and in Long Lake at Jiuzhaigou, possibly the most stunning sight we've EVER seen. But if you're not on your game on a given day, some of the Chinese tendencies that would be considered rude or wrong in the Western world could grind you down a bit! We've enjoyed the challenge...and the culture differences we've experienced....and we are leaving China with some fond memories. South East Asia next....
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Amanda H on

Brilliant blog! Is Jeremy not gay any more then haha! Love it! xxx

Amanda H on

Just realised I said brilliant blog about the last entry, but at least they are consistantly brilliant xxx

paulandkala on

Ooopppssss!! I think we worded that wrong!! He used to play saxophone on a cruise ship where they had nude cruises and gay cruises!! Sorry Jimmy!! Have changed it now!!

Chrissie on

Another action filled blog and great pics......hope you are both ok? ......Evie coming on loads little munchkin....Paul keeps uploading pics on fb so you will be able to have a look Hun.....take care xxxxxxx

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