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Back north

Dali, China

Have seen the best weather yet here in Dali, deep blue sky and refreshing winds, deceptively cool as the sun is quite harsh.
Heading back north has seen me climb again and Dali is situated around 2000 meters above sea level. I'm staying in the old town, which is walled by grey brick. Its very picturesque and Chinese looking.
Arrived in Dali from a bus direct from Jinghong, a mere 17.5 hours to travel the equivalent length of south Korea i wont be doing it again in a hurry! The beds were even more ridiculous than the last bus wit beds that had metal bars down the sides that were too wide for my shoulders and the bed was too short to be able to lie comfortably on your side without sticking your feet into the aisle. The road was also insane, from about 10pm to 3am we were on a twisting bumpy road obviously climbing a fair altitude but not really suitable when your trying to sleep.
After arriving in the new town at around 10 am we then had to get to the old town, waiting for the bus as instructed by the lonely planet proved unsuccessful as it didn't turn up so we took a taxi for the 20 minute ride to the old town. Only as we drew up did i realise in my tired state i'd left my flask (kindly handed down by Helen) on the bus, that thing had already been round china once so i'm a bit gutted to have lost it. However my loss was eclipsed seconds later when Kiki realised she'd left her ipod under her pillow!!! Sadly it was an hour since we'd exited the bus so going back was no good.
The resulting sleep deprivation meant the next day was spent flopping around the hostel. The next day was more fruitful though as we spent the day (i'm still hanging round with the 2 Australians and the Swede by the way) checking out the town, walking along the wall and eating from the street stalls, really nice savoury potato pancakes, and generally taking in the place. the town itself is flanked by a large freshwater lake to the east and 4000 meter snow topped mountains to the west.
The next day we hired bikes with the intention of catching a ferry across the lake and cycling back round. However the LP's price of 2-3 yuan for the ferry had in fact increased to 50 yuan so we decided to stick on the eastern shore instead and check out some local villages. The cycle was nice but it got very hot and despite 3 liberal applications of sun cream the 7 hours cycling in the sun saw me get a bit burnt. I know have sandal marks on my feet like a proper englishman.
Due to extreme saddle saw today has been officially designated a rest day before another (short) bus trip north tomorrow.

permalink written by  Dan on April 6, 2008 from Dali, China
from the travel blog: Been there, Dan that!
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Just made the effort to catch up on your travels n now im hooked, next stop is a map to see your route your takin, will let you know how the Wed v UTD derby finishes. (its this tues pm btw) up the Owls ...look after yer sen me owd mukka!!

permalink written by  Dave Higgins on April 6, 2008

Great picks Dan. Glad it was only a water bottle you lost.
If you had a saw for a saddle I am not surprised it hurt! :-O ;-)


permalink written by  Bill on April 6, 2008

Lost the flask? The Beaker!?! How sad. Don't lose hope though, that flask has survived time on it's own before. It spent a week in Kunming once and was there to meet us when we got back. You may still meet again, one day.

Enjoy Lijiang. Don't worry when Mama Naxi shouts at you, she's probably offering you a banana.


permalink written by  helen on April 6, 2008

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