Tibetan adventures certainly didn’t stop there! We eventually made it to Ya Ding Nature Reserve – which we heard was ‘shangri-la’ (the Chinese love this word, and everything in the area seems to be called shangri-la…including one not so nice town!). It was quite hard to get there…but once we arrived we found it to be a nice little village (10-12 houses…definately little!!). We slept in a barn for 30p (my cheapest accomodation so far…and not the worst!) then spent the next day on a horse trekking around the area. 3 hours and a very sore arse later i decided to walk! I was definately the Lone Stranger, but my horse Pronto wasn’t very quick.
The next day we had the task of getting back to civilisation and hopefully a bus station…we managed to hitch a ride with the local police jeep to the next town to then get rammed into a tiny van with 8 other people (and the driver who was drinking a rather large bottle of beer), 3 bags of rice and a couple of boxes of who knows what. We booked the onward bus the next morning for what we heard was supposed to be a bit of a rough ride…Erik and Callum may remember (will definately remember) our 16 hour bus ride through Laos and Vietnam…this made that look like a walk in the park! Aside from being on cliff tops the whole way…the road was no more than mud for around 200km – oh and it’s the rainy season.
At one point, we all had to get out and push the bus to get it through a particularly thick patch of mud…well, all the men were supposed to, i just got out to take pictures of them all doing it…ha ha ha ha.
Anyways….that was all fun and games…we arrived the next day at the world famous ‘Tiger Leaping Gorge (new window)‘. We decided to get a lift along the gorge then walk back…leaving our bags at the start to pick up the next day. We couldn’t find any taxis for a good price, so we hitched a lift on a truck…we were a little worried as to the safety of the vehicle as it didn’t seem so steady…and it was a pretty tight road with a sheer drop down to the right (oh…and the possibility of avalanches and falling stones from the cliffs above). Infact…so unsafe it was, that less than 12 hours later a poor guy was killed on the same road by a falling rock during a small avalanche!
So, 30km of hard walking later (mostly in the rain!) we managed to jump on a bus (being rather smelly…i felt sorry for the poor girl next to me) and arrived in this cool town of Lijiang.
Enough of my antics…life’s pretty good. Had some tasty food and despite my iPod nearly breaking a number of times…everything’s going well.
Over and out.