Not quite leaping like the tiger through the gorge
Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
36Trip End Feb 2007
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Then once again, despite her better judgement, Heather allowed Jo to drag her off on another trek -Tiger Leaping Gorge. First she put up a good fight finding web sites about how dangerous and fatal the trek could be -however Jo found a guesthouse owner assured us the track was in much better condition. At that guesthouse, at the beginning of the track, we shared a room with a Spanish girl who we set out with early the next morning.
The track is reportedly well sign posted -"just follow the red arrows"- but unfortunately these arrows tended to be placed along straight sections of the track (where direction was obviously straight ahead) rather than at intersections or villages
Anyhow the first five hours was uphill and painfully steep for the second two hours (both of us wishing we could be teleported home). Then after lunch we trailed around the side of the mountain on a narrow path with a sheer drop, giddy heights from the bottom of the gorge, all in the intense sun. By now Heather (aka Little Miss Plod) was setting the pace, with Jo a bit impatient to make enough ground before dusk. Then the thunderstorm and rain began, and we had to cautiously navigate waterfalls over the path and slippery slopes. Finally, after 10 hours walking, with mud on our bums and hands from slipping, we dawdled into a fine guesthouse where we were able to appreciate the views much better. Here we had a fabulous time chatting with a retired Singapore couple and a Chinese-English guy and his German girlfriend over dinner. Jo finished off the day skidding on water outside the shower and landing hard on her ass (coccyx and right SIJ still painful now a couple of days later). Then we had adventures getting downstairs to the shared bathrooms at night, in the pitch black, when they turned the generators off.
Anyhow, next day it was back to old town of Lijiang -with some skillful bus catching (Jo managing to recognize the Chinese characters and wave it down). Our last day or so here has been spent doing a spot of shopping, bumping into our Spanish friend again and enjoying some Western comfort foods. Tonight we catch a sleeper bus back to Kunming, muck around there for a day, then catch the sleeper train to Guilin.