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Tiger Leaping Gorge! Or, the near perfect day

Qiaotou, China

So much to catch up on...

Day One: Just about ideal. 9am bus, not too early, came right to our hostel so no sloshing to the long distance bus station and all for only 5rmb [81 cents] more than the public bus.

Bumpy ride to be expected in this part of the world. Mei ban fa [nothing I can do about it.]

Short walk from drop off point [that doubles as a bag storage service] to local restaurant for very good meal with two as yet unknown to me vegetables. [In this part of Yunnan, menus are rare. A refridgerated display case holds tubs of veggies that you point to then discuss how it is to be cooked. I do not understand all the cooking methods. When I don't, that's the one I pick!]

Hike started in perfect weather with sunny skies and fluffy clouds. Mountains visible from the start. We make the Naxi Family Guesthouse in 2 hours, the posted time.

Naxi family almost ignores us but does serve us Yunnan tea with a fresh mint leaf for a very nice flavor. They are in the process of giving a baby a bath. That involves heating the water over a fire, putting out interlocking foam pads on the concrete courtyard floor, and having clean blankets & clothes nearby. After rub down [what the pads & blanket were for] baby gets dressed and wrapped in a Naxi back carrier. It looks like a quilted blanket but there is a head rest sticking up from the center of the top and two very long straps off each of the top corners. It takes two adults to get the baby in place. Baby is wrapped in the quilt then the straps, that are now crossing infront of the baby, are draped over an adult's shoulders, then crisscrossed over the adult's chest making a big letter X. The straps are now at the adult's waist level where they are wrapped at the adult's waist to the back becoming a seat for the baby. One adult needs to hold the baby in place while all this wrapping is done. When done the adult walks the baby to sleep, the little baby butt sticking out over the waist wrap. Very clever!

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 8, 2012 from Qiaotou, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Bus, Tea, Hike, Naxi, Baby, Menu, Local, Vegetable, Mint and Carrier

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Tomorrow's itinerary

Dali, China

AM: Walked around Dali's Old City; found the local market which was very photogenic. Tried to retrace my steps to the walnut lady but could not find her after three attempts. Bought fruit.

AM: Walked atop the [new] Old City wall and enjoyed many picturesque views. Filled my SD card in my camera - sat for a long time deleting photos and videos. The 'highlight' was finding an almost 6 minute accidental video. It was from the vantage point of my belly of me washing my hands, breathing, flossing - quite a hoot! DELETE!

PM: Ate spicy mint for lunch. Not a favorite but worth a try.

PM: Went for an oil foot massage. I fell asleep at one point so was pretty good.

PM: Inquired at the front desk about walking to a pagoda I was prominantly from the [new] Old City wall. It looked close enough to reach on foot but I wanted to be sure there weren't fences or such in the way. She suggested I take a bus. She wrote the name of the stop. Having been informed by the same person that I could flag down the #4 bus anywhere along the road I stood off the side walk & waited. The first bus came and by the time I noticed the small #4 it was too late to flag it down. The second would not stop. Neither did the third. The fourth bus did stop. I showed the driver the stop I wanted and paid my 1.5rmb. I assumed it would be only 2 or 3 stops away. Miles away I ask my seat mate about the stop I want. We had passed it long ago. The bus driver than acknowledged that he had forgotten. I motioned to get off so that I could cross the street and hail a bus going back the way I wanted. He said to stay and he'd get me there on the return trip. That he did. But I had to go all the way to the bottom of the lake eating up a lot of time. But hey, I guess he saved me 24 cents. :-/ At the bus station I had to switch to another bus, my first driver explaining to the second driver why I didn't have to pay and where I was to get off. I could have walked there by now! Well, I finally was advised as to where to get off and... it was not the pagoda I had wanted to visit. It was no where near the city wall I was looking from. But there I was road side. I crossed the street. The temple was shut and locked. I walked around the side. Behind the complex holding two pagodas and across the alley was an open temple. I wandered through there taking pictures. It was quite nice but I'm getting templed out. I wanted to climb a pagoda! I went back to the road and caught another #4 bus back to my guest house. I told the desk sraff of the misunderstanding and my misadventure. The owner [who is native English speaking] tells me the pagoda I want to see is an easy walk, no fences or barriers of consequence. Tomorrow's challenge!

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 12, 2012 from Dali, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Pagoda, Mint, FootMassage and Misunderstanding

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