A Travellerspoint blog

Hitchhiking from Shangri La to Lijiang...

sunny 30 °C

So we set off. I couldn't stop smiling and giggling, which I attributed to nerves and lack of sleep. Stef however was as cool as a cucumber, him being a hitchhiking pro an' all, and he was confident we'd have no problems getting to Lijiang by 4pm. We'd told the US / UK ladies, who were getting the bus to Lijiang, that we'd see them later, and now we reallllly wanted to get to Lijiang before them. :D It was a beautiful sunny day and the view from the side of the dusty highway was quite nice.

9146996513_093919683a.jpg

So we walked for maybe 20 minutes or so before a chap in a van, with no seats in the back, stopped for us. Stef did his best (and amusing) hitchhiking routine, involving lots of small questions and big hand gestures!

Stef: ''Lijiang?? You go to Lijiang?? We come with you?? little bit? small bit? We come? Ok? We get in? ''

It worked anyways, yer man let us in to the back of his van but said he could only take us to the intersection as he worked in the hospital nearby. ''Grand job'', we said.
Yer man didn't say much, but he did offer Stef a smoke. Not me though. Apparently women don't smoke, or maybe aren't supposed to in China. So he brought us maybe 10 minutes or so down the road to the big roundabout/intersection, where we got out and perched ourselves on the corner, munched on some nuts and stuck our thumbs out every now and then when cars went by.
(I thought of that Felix the Housecat track - ''(Standing on the corner) Watching cars go by'', numerous times. :)

Finally some cool dude wearing a cap and sunglasses, smoking a cigarrette and carrying a tray of red bull in the back seat gave us a lift. (I paid special attention to what was in the back seat of everyone's car - juuuussst in case. ;) ) This guy wasn't going far either but he was pretty chatty and offered us a smoke and we attempted to chat to him using various apps and bad pronunciation. We told him we were on our honeymoon for a bit of a laugh. HA! :D He brought us another 15 minutes or so down the road before he had to go to turn up another road towards some big pipes to go to work.

9149218558_267a2af0c7.jpg9149219896_e0e7ce8d49.jpg

We were only just ouf of that car when another dude in a white van pulled over and after Stef's routine, offered to take us another bit of the way. ''This is great'' I thought.... ''and so easy''!
This dude had fake grass on his dashboard, Chinese cowboy music playing loudly and a SAWEEEET pair of blue shoes on him. We didn't understand him at all really, but he stopped to do his shopping in this tiny village for a while and left us alone in the van. LOL. We gave him a hand getting his shopping into the boot. I really thought this guy must have been going to take us a long way, seeing as how he stopped to do his shopping and all!

9149221000_2e0a9eb310.jpg9146993415_d47997ae59.jpg

He dropped us off at the DEATHZONE - aka an odd mall full of animal furs, bones, horns, gizzards and all sorts of other weird shit. Grim. Anyway too many buses were pulling in in where we were standing so we mosied on down the road til Stef spotted a ''great hitching spot'' down the road. I lolled.

9147025157_e14abf7c2d.jpg9149227720_e31c828074.jpg9149226484_7d0c3dbfcd.jpg

We waited here for about 15 minutes before 2 young lads in a car picked us up and gave us a lift all the way past Qiataou! ''BACK IN THE GAME'', I thought. We were in the backseat yapping away to ourselves and probably should have made more of an effort to talk to our drivers but were having a good laugh so didn't really think of it. We were mega lucky too as it pissed rain most of the time that we were in their car, and then just stopped before we got out. :D

9149228980_6849270bf3.jpg

Once again, the minute we got out of their car, we got picked up by an old dude in a truck. This was a mixed blessing as the truck was very slow and lost us a lot of time in our effort to get to Lijiang by 4pm. It didn't help that he got stopped by the Police and fined for not wearing a seat belt. :D He dumped us off at the outskirts of Lijiang and Stef did his routine on this little dude who was driving a tiny trailer. It was so funny. This guy did not want to take us at all but Stefan kept going with his ''little bit pleaseeeee'' routine. Who could resist his handsome face, big cheesy grin and boundless enthusiasm? Well not this guy! ;) Yer man caved in and let us in to his trailer and dropped us about 100 metres up the road before dumping us out again. BWAHAHAHAHAHA
We thanked him profusedly and he drove off. Then we saw him at the traffic lights!! GOING IN OUR DIRECTION!! So Stef points at him as if to say ''you ARE going our way? Why did you dump us off??''
SOooooo yer man let us back into his trailer again for another 5 minutes! He ditched us again just outside the old town and Stef unwittingly took the guys water bottle from the trailer, thinking it was his own. ahahahhaahhaha. I'd say yer man was thinking..''Robbing my feckin water now as well??? WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT FROM ME YOU FOREIGNERS??!!''..

We wandered on and stopped for some momos and who should walk by? Only the 3 girls! They were pretty shocked to see us and I think mega impressed. ;) We agreed to meet up later but I got the impression they were getting into nighttrain mode and we mightn't see them that night. We trundled back to Soh's place for the night and I checked in. We had a wash and went for some food and then met the rest of the gang at Panba hostel before another night of singing and bongoing in Soh's Private lounge. It was great fun. I'd say that was probably the best travelling day I've had on this trip. It was brilliant craic. I was pretty sad to have to say goodbye to my awesome Dutch friend and would have liked to have gone hitchhiking again the next day with him to Lugu lake. However we all have different paths to take and mine involved sorting out my feckin visa extension before I got kicked out of China. : )

9149229966_2693a50e35.jpg9147002369_81e202bcdb.jpg9149232212_284208a869.jpg9149234626_929edb897a.jpg

Posted by squeakylee 05:44 Archived in China Tagged la highway sunshine lijiang shangri hitchhiking dusty routine stef's hilarious

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login