Lijang

Trip Start Sep 28, 2005
1
75
177
Trip End Dec 24, 2007


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Monday, April 24, 2006

Lijang,

It is a wonderful place but absolutly packed with Chinese tourists!

I arived after a relitevly painless bus journey and was droped in the new town. I knew i needed to get to the old town and Olga's message told me there was a free pickup[ but i decided to have a bit of a walk. After speaking to a few people in sign language and with lots of pointing i worked out which way to go. I arived in the old town about 20 mins later and it was lovely so i decided to wonder around and try to find the hostel - Mama Naxi - how hard could it be? Its only a small town................... Well............... 2.5 hours later i was still wondering around! I had asked so many people and they either didnt know the name of the place or kept directing me to a restaurant called Mamas - not very usefull!!!!

Eventually 1 woman knew the place and directed me to the right area and then i bumped into a few other lost french people but they had the card for the hostel so we asked a few people and even though we were only 2 streets away still didnt know!! God knows how olga herd about this place! I eventually arived and first impressions were not all that good. All four of the Israilis were not there but every other Israili in China was there! I got a bed in a dorm and slept hoping life would be a little easier when i awoke.

Behold! Life is much easier now. I met an Israili guy who told me that the others are at a village nearby and it is dinner time! I sat with an English guy called Dave from B'ham a Kiwi called Lee and three Swedish girls - Molly, Sofie and Marie. We had a great meal and i decided i would go to a place called the Tiger Leaping George with the 3 Swedish girls.

The 4 Isrilis came in next and told me they were staying at some other place around the courner as they thought it was too noisy (to be honest i think they were being a bit pedantic) so i decided to spend the evening with my new found friends and they are all funny funny people. Dave is the same age as me so we had loads in common and Lee is one of the funnyiest people i have met so it was great to hang out with them. Molly and Sofie are two 20 year old Swedish girls and Marie is a 30 year old teacher. We had a great night as we went to 'Bar Street'. Here there are the two sides of the street seperated by a river and both sides aim to make more noise than the other by banging pots and pans as loud as possible! Its great - me and Dave took this to the extreme and i think we embarrased the Swedish girls a bit but it was so funny - the locals loved us - they sing their songs which all end in Hang Song, Hang Song, Hang Song Song and we sing football songs like ' the refere's a w**ker! After a botlle of extremely strong liquer between us we walked home when i bumped into Olga and her friend - it turns out they will be in Tiger Leaping George tomorrow so i will see the 4 of them there.

In the morning i awoke really early to a loud girl ariving from Austraila called Debbie, she and a guy who became known as the 'King of Denmark'. Debbie knew Molly and Sofie so she made a snap decision to join us so i was in a very lucky situation of going on a 2 day treck with 4 women!

The 1st day of the treck was really really hard. I had no footwear and with my toe nail a very funy colour from my previous treck my feet wernt in the best condition, to make matters worse i did the whole thing in my flip flops! The 1st day started with a 3 hour minibus ride which Mama sorted out for us and then we had a big ascent but the scenery was reath taking. I spent most the time chatting to Debbie as the 3 Swedish girls were enjoying their Swedish. We stoped for lunch for ome fried rice and Olga and the 3 Israili muscateers caught us up. It was nice to have a brief chat with them and then we set off again. We had to go up to the sumit of the '28 bends' which semed more like 28,000,000! Debbie and i eventually got to the top and the others arived about 309 mins later so we spent the last 3 hours of the treck on a nice gradual descent - it was amazing with the scenery all around as you walk along the gorge with iced caped mountains either side.
We got to our sleeping poiunt and i shared the dorm with Debbie and Marie. There were 2 English guys there and so we spent the night chatting nand i made the effort to go over to Olga and the muscateers speradically.

The 2nd day of the treck was only bout 3 hours or so and nice and easy. I spent the time walking with Sofie as the others were lagging behind and we got back to the end an hour before the others! We sat in the sun sipping our victory drink and waited for our lift, we waited and waited and it soon became apparent it wasnt coming. As ni had called before i got Debbie to call Mama Nasi and there had been some confusion but it came in the end.

The evening was spent mainly with Molly on the search for chocolate. Every random streanger that came up to talk to us (which there were many) we kept telling outragous lies to for example we were maried on honeymoon or bro and sis - it was very funny! We also bought 24 bottles of small wine which the group demolished in the evening. It will be a real shame to leave tomorrow as i have loved my time here with everyone. Its not all bad though as Marie is coming with e and i have a feeling Olga and the 3 muscateers are coming as well as Dave and Lee - in fact the only people who wont be there are Debbie and the 2 Swedish girls.
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