The morning was cold but sunny. Waking up at the Tea-Horse Guesthause was quite spectacular, because when we arrived here the day before it was completely dark. Sadly, I could not enjoy the beauty of this place for too long. It turned out that when we finally scramble out of the small wooden room, most of the gang was already after breakfast and ready to leave. We managed to take a few photos, drink Chinese nescafe and we were on the road.
A few pics from the amazing Tea-Horse Guesthouse:
::: A frosty morning, a hot mug of coffee in my hand and a book with Tibet in the background on this terrace – heaven! … if only I had time for it 😛 Unfortunately, I got up too late for such whims :::
::: Why so empty? Maybe because it’s December, the region’s winter time? Definitely recommended if you plan a trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge! :::
::: A late and lonely breakfast :::
::: Michao slowly recovering from the symptoms of altitude sickness from the previous day. On the table: traditional Naxi bread and Tibetan tea (I went for the traditional banana pancake with chocolate and Nescafe) :::
::: The living room of the Guesthouse owners, resembling the interior of Mongolian Ger! :::
I must admit that our short stay was extremely charming. Not only because after a long day we could count on a hot meal and a big cold beer, but also got a free upgrade to the rooms on the upper floor. Although the rooms were cool and unheated, the hot shower and bed with an electric blanket had never been so pleasant. The Guesthouse radiated cold peace and bliss – I regretted that I did not get up earlier to enjoy it longer (and normally I do not recognize the morning as a humane time of day). On our way out, the lovely host presented each of us with a banana, some candies and …a Snikers! 🙂
::: Tibet-we’re coming! :::
Meanwhile, the steep slope has started to become more and more epic …
After a few hours, we got to our next stop for rest and lunch, the so-called Half-Way Hostel. And we found yet another spectacular viewing platform:
Strangely enough, everyone was so tired and so lazy after a meal that they fell into a mysterious coma… Therefore, quite unexpectedly I got to fulfill my dream of a moment for myself and my special book in this scenery *! 😀 I read until it got pretty late, when I woke up the group – we still had a few hours’ walk to our next stop.
* for this occasion I chose Lost Horizon – a novel by James Hilton from 1933, known as the origin of the legend of Shangri-La, a fictional, utopian lamastery located high in the mountains of Tibet. Spoiler alert: – Shangri-La, which actually exists on the map of China since recently, was our destination for the next day!
The last stretch of the hike turned out to be the most beautiful – dangerous steep slopes, cheeky goat herds, waterfalls and the setting sun…
::: The stars of this part were goatlings and their mothers with fancy hairstyles :::
When we got to the point from which we would descend directly to the titled gorge (about 1 hour downhill), we had enough thrills for the day, so we let it go and decided to do it on the next day.
::: It is always nice to support local business and try the regional specialties 😉 :::
In the local eateries you will find many interesting specialties- not only the Naxi bread, Tibetan tea and beer, but also everything that can be made out of a Yak (or rather Yak crossed with a regular cow because it is easier to breed) – Yak’s burgers, Yak’s dumplings, Yak yoghurt etc etc.
::: One of the reasons to travel all the way here- a wine from the Yunnan region :::
::: Waking up with an unprecedented view vol2. :::
The next day, finally, we were to reach our destination – a place at the bottom of the gorge, where it narrows enough that the tiger (allegedly) jumped over it.
The way down started easy, but after a while it transformed into almost vertical narrow path (photos from difficult moments are traditionally missing, but you can catch a glimpse of it on the video below 😉 )
::: In several places along the route you can meet nice ladies selling everything that a tourist may need during a steep climb – water, snickers, beads, marijuana leaves and … stones? :::
::: Alvaro as a Chinese prince – unfortunately there were no people willing to carry him :::
::: Tadaaa! The Tiger Leaping Gorge..! :::
::: ‘Where is Michao’ – a great equivalent of the colorful Where’s Wally in the dark-gray mountain scenery :::
We made it! After 2 and a half days we arrived at a place where the calm river gets wild. The only thing we have left to do was climb back up and eat the victorious lunch- for the last time in the full squad.
In this epic place we parted and everyone went their own way – part of the group got on the bus to Kunming (Eve and Alvaro caught a plane to Germany, Wen to Vietnam) and the rest (me, Michao, Gigi, Sandeep and Jeremy) a private van in the direction of a legendary Shangri-La …! 😀
And this is also where my Best-Movie-So-Far ends, who has not seen it yet, click away: