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Tiger Leaping Gorge

Aww - I'd LOVE to see a tiger... ehhhhh

sunny 34 °C

Today the four of us bussed it to Jane's Guesthouse at the start of the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This is one of the World's deepest gorges and the mighty Yangzi river crashes through it below. If you go to Yunan province, apparently you can't miss this trek. The gorge runs between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (5596m) and Haba Snow mountain (5791) and extends over 15km. Locals say that it gets so narrow at 1 point, that a tiger leapt from one bank to another.

Jane's guesthouse was at the entrance to the trek, but it didn't seem like Jane or anyone else had been around for a while. It seemed quite dingy and empty - but never the less we sat down and ordered some grub off a guy who's ear seemed to be leaking - he had his finger stuck in it for quite some time!
The food and dorms were grand, however there was a couple sharing our dorm who slept in the one bed and were constantly making slurpy noises, or trying to get it on. Jeez lads - it's not that expensive - GET A ROOM!. It was quite disturbing and Chen moved to the outer room as he was too close to the slurping. We had a great laugh that night showing each other comedy clips on youtube - my own particular choice was Father Ted. (as ye do!)

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TIGER LEAPING GORGE

We set off at about 9.30am and it was already feckin roastin'. I hung out at the back of the group - A) for some peace and quiet and non-fact related-updates and B) cos I was slower than the lads. The lads powered ahead and waited for me every now and then. My legs felt like lead and to be honest I didn't even think I could do the whole thing and we hadn't even gotten to the ''agonizing 28 bends'' yet. Good Jaysus.

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We veered off the track at the start and a local lady put us right. A lot of the locals in the area set up little viewing spots along the trek and try to charge foreigners to take pictures from them. We came across this old woman selling bananas at this lovely little viewing spot. She wanted us to buy some bananas in exchange for taking pictures. Myself and Stef bought some bananas but the other two lads didn't want any. They were taking pictures. We didn't as we were too busy stuffing our faces with banana. The auld dear went mad at the fact that the two lads were taking pictures without a banana purchase! We tried to explain that they were actually taking pictures with our cameras but alas she wanted none of that shite. She cursed Joao half way up the mountains, hoping his ''babies would be born without assholes''. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Harsh.

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We pushed on, the old woman's curses echoing up the mountain. It was an absolutely beautiful day with clear blue skies. Once again we were so lucky with the weather, the views were amazing. The going was tough for me but all the lads seemed grand. (I'm getting weedier I think during this travelling lark - need to get back doing some proper exercise and yoga! )
Just before the 28 bends we stopped for a rest. The bends themselves weren't actually that bad - (I thought the start was tougher) - we were rewarded with awesome views of the mountains around and the gorge below. We stopped at 3pm at the Tea Horse for lunch and then trundled on afterwards passing goats, beautiful mountain scenery and lovely waterfalls.

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After a few more hours of trekking, we reached the Halfway House Hostel, which was full of lots of other tourists. We met a few funny American/UK girls there, a lovely Irish couple, the same American lads we kept bumping into everywhere, an Oz/NZ couple, and another few people from the UK. There was a great auld buzz in the place and we all sat down on the roof which had spectacular views. We ordered a load of food and then had many beers under the millions of stars twinkling above. The four of us were the last to bed as per usual. During the night I heard one of the American lads leaping out of the bunk bed to go and puke over the balcony outside. UH OH. I was selfishly relieved that he hadn't eaten dinner with us. The thought of all 10 of us in the room having to follow him out to puke off the balcony was a little unsettling, if still hilarious!

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DAY 2

The next day, we set off after breakfast and trekked for another few hours. It was another gorgeous day and the scenery was amazing. The toughest bit of the day was going right down into the gorge to the river to see the stone the tiger apparently leapt on. It took us an hour to get down these huge, higgeldy piggeldy steps to the river, but it was worth it. The river was bonkers violent and I questioned the ability of any tiger to be able to jump across without falling in. To which Stefan replied ''It's just a story.''.
Oh.
Right.
Aww. :(

Going down was bad, going back up was even worse. It was torturous. I was soaked in sweat. It was SO HOT. (You would think I'd be a skinny minnie after all this going up and down steps and what not, but I keep drinking too much beer with the lads. :D) I probably wouldn't have had so many beers last night if I'd known this was in store for us today. I thought it would be a quick hop, skip and a jump down to the stone and back up again.

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Anywho we made it to the top finally. I looked like I'd been in for a swim in the river - everything I was wearing was soaked. I had a shower and some noodles in Tina's guesthouse and felt a bit better.
There had been a landslide on the mountain nearby and the road we needed to take to Shangri La was blocked so we all had to be driven to the landslide by mini bus, wait on one side til the drilling and construction work stopped, then walk to the other side to get the bus. Some of the guys who had left Tina's agggges before us, were still standing around in the heat of the day waiting to pass. Sickener!

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Getting the right people on the right bus seemed to be an impossibility for the lads who were organising the buses. It was like a bad sitcom. As soon as two new lads got on our bus, all our ticets had to be checked again and again before two other people were kciked offf. This went on for about 20 minutes! :D Eventually it was off on the road to Shangri La. Our group now included the 3 lovely American/UK ladies and the four of us.

Great people, non stop laughing, beautiful weather and epic mountain scenery!

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Posted by squeakylee 06:35 Archived in China Tagged bus stone hot tiger gorge 28 leaping janes tinas bends Comments (0)

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