We left Lijiang at 7am with a driver who would take us to the starting point of the Tiger Leaping Gorge. It was about a two-hour drive from the city. After a short stop to pick up more guests and to get breakfast we were on the road to the gorge.
Around 10am we had made it to the starting point of the trek and started up the first incline. After 100 meters I was not sure why I had even signed up for this, why am I always so excited to go on treks? This was going to be exhausting and it didn’t look like a pleasant enough landscape.
French trekkers who had started after us, overtook us on the first incline and left behind a lonely Chinese guy who followed us from now on. For a while he was walking behind us, eventually he took up the middle. Although he didn’t speak one English word we got along well and took our lunch break together.
About two hours into the trek we were overtaken again, this time by an American couple with a Chinese guy in tow. I was really astonished that there were even Chinese on the trek, that’s pretty rare and made these guys really outstanding. Usually trekking is just done by tourists. We continued the six of us, survived and celebrated the 28 turns which signaled that we had made it to the top. But that was not the end of it. The rest was a lot longer still. Nevermind, walking in a group motivated everyone and we caught up with each other all the time. Finally we decided on a group picture at the Halfway house.
We made the 9 hour trek in 8 hours 15 minutes, which was okay but not great. I felt my legs though and was glad that the new waterproof shoes were not giving me any grief. In hindsight it was of course incredible stupid to go on a trek with brand new shoes. But it worked out just fine. Here are some pictures from this incredible tour.
When we finally made it down, we had a beer at Tina’s Youth Hostel
and called Lopsang, our driver from this morning, to pick us up and drive us the last two kilometers to the Tibet Guesthouse. Before dinner we made plans with three other guests to share a car the next day to get to Shangri-La. We decided to try the scenic route instead of the highway. Not sure what we will see, but the Chinese are always good for surprises.
Dinner was shared with two women the traveled with us that morning. They had gone straight ahead to the guest house instead of tackling the trek. Nonetheless we were all hungry and had some excellent food. One of the finest on this trip so far. Yours, Pollybert