My poor aching feet
Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
284Trip End Ongoing
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Thankfully most of the walk wasn't uphill today, although it was still a struggle! After an hour or so we reached the halfway house, where I had wanted to stay the previous night. The guesthouse was alright but I preferred the Teahorse. The halfway house seemed far newer, probably due to Michael Palin staying there during his Himalaya series, but the cafe area had a great view and good pancakes!
Feeling refreshed we set out at a quick pace to finish the walk quickly. Wasn't to be though as the walk was still pretty tough. It was an incredibly boring downhill trek all the way to the road and it was very painful. My feet were blistered beyond all recognition and I was relieved when we reached the road and could walk on a flat surface again.
However I wanted to reach Walnut garden before heading back to Qioutou. The arrows seemed to be very misleading and we spent 30 minutes trying to find the right path.
After walking across the new bridge we were still about half a kilometre from Walnut garden but decided to follow the arrows again. Big mistake! I didn't really care about seeing the middle tiger leaping stone but thats where we were headed. It took nearly an hour to get to the bottom, where we were asked to pay again. No chance!
The walk back to Walnut garden took about another 40 minutes across some very dangerous waterfalls but I was very glad we had reached our destination. The LP says some people are so enchanted by the garden that they stay for days. I however saw no reason to hang around any longer.
But being Sunday the buses weren't running so we had to hire a taxi. They wouldn't budge much on the price and I can't blame them when we had no other choice. The journey back took far longer than I expected and we easily walked more than the 16km's quoted in the LP.
Didn't really trust Margo that much so I was glad the bags were still in one piece when we arrived in Qioutou. I'm sure she was fine but she seemed a bit eccentric. You would have to be clinically insane to want to live in Qioutou.
The last bus from Qioutou to Lijiang should have arrived at 6pm, but we were still sitting around waiting at 8pm. It obviously wasn't going to turn up so we decided to get a taxi. Could have stayed the night but I'd rather have stayed in Lijiang.
The drive was unbelievable! It was a terrible road with bits missing here and there for no reason and we came close to crashing a number of times. One taxi wasn't so lucky and was in a pretty mangled state. I was glad to reach Lijiang in one piece. Checked into the Old Town hostel and gave my feet a rest again.