Heavenly Lake, Tian Chi near Urumqi

Trip Start Apr 22, 2012
Trip End Nov 05, 2012

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Flag of China  , Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu,
Monday, August 13, 2012

Spent well over an hour driving the 8km or so into the centre of Urumqi through the construction work for a new road that appears to be going over the main north south drag through Urumqi - hard to get anywhere in the city without having to go past this spot.  An education and also fascinating watching the Chinese drivers at work in the traffic queue.....  they do not take prisoners so you have to give as good back as you get given.... I've learnt a good tactic the last couple of days when they refuse to let me change lane etc, even when you have your front end well into the new lane they refuse to let you in and aggressively stop you from being able to continue in front of them - as they come to a standstill with their front window level with mine I wave to them a thank-you and say loudly 'Thank You, much appreciated' - and 50% of the time they look sheepish and then when the traffic moves again let me in, in front of them.....
Spent a few hours then with Andy - tracking down and buying an external hard drive for my new laptop as I have managed to cause problems with the start-up memory due to the number of photos I have stored on it.  I have had to delete large numbers of my earlier photos to allow the lap top to be able to get the latest photos off the memory sticks.  No problem I hope as all on memory sticks and usb sticks but now I have a 500GB external hard drive I can gradually copy them all onto this as a second chance in case of accidents etc.
Also have to admit to buying another camera - will attempt to treat this one with kid gloves - isa agony cybershot with a 20 x zoom.  Used it this afternoon and really liked it.
Finally about 12,30pm we set off from Urumqi city centre and spent another 30 minutes getting past the construction on  the main north south road.  We were all amazed that although they were lifting  huge piece of the concrete roadway to cross over the main highway, they didn't stop the traffic - so were were driving under the piece of roadway as it was being hoisted into place.
Had a great afternoon in the Heavenly Lake park - you take a bus half way up the mountain and then change over to a another exactly the same bus and get taken up the rest of the way - gets very steep and lots of hairpin bends - something like 32 in total.  Then when get off the bus you walk uphill still about 800m and over the brow of a hill and arrive at the Heavenly Lake - what a new.
Roger and I visited here back in 2003 - then there was no hairpin road up the last bit of the valley - you took an ancient looking 2 seater chair lift up to just below the brow of the hill that you walked over to see the lake.  We have happy memories of a great day out there with the Exodus group we were with at the time.
Today Liza and Sue went off walking - a lovely waterfall, followed by a bit of a walk around part of the lake rim along a typically Chinese footpath built onto the rock face above the lake.  Then we started up the steps towards a pagoda, not at the top of the mountains but perched on a spot with an amazing view of the lake and the surrounding area.   Liza stopped lower downy he hill but Sue persevered up the steps, but they had not had much tender loving care recently and there had been a fair few tone falls and mini land slides making the going a little tricky in places.  REally enjoyed the exhilarating view from the pagoda and was very glad I had managed to get up there.  A few other small groups of people had also managed to make their way up there as well - compared to the hoards that had been down by the lake this was an amazingly quiet spot.
Got back to the bus area where Andy and Eion were patiently waiting and was well past 7pm when we got back to the vehicles.  Parked up in the parking lot for the Heavenly Lake - cooked our evening meals here and drank a cool beer - was getting dark by the time we packed up etc.  Is now 11pm as I write this blog up.

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Hilary Manning on

Hi Sue
Just thought I would catch up with your travels since you are stuck awaiting repairs. Glad you are back with your friends - much nicer to have somebody to share things with. Great that you met up with Kathy & John. Perhaps it has given you ideas??
How is Roger since the op? What are the plans for him joining you, or not?
Been a busy couple of weeks here as hard to get away from the TV and Olympic coverage. GB was/is amazing. We now have gold postboxes in MK. I suspect the paraolympics will be a much quieter media project. We didn't enjoy the closing ceremony - didn't like the 'music'. We must be getting old!
Love Hilary

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