Next morning we're off early. Around 8 I think. Before it get's too hot.
I thought we were going to have an easy walk down to Tina's Guesthouse, which is down at the main road. But first we have to pass several dangerous spots among which is a waterfall. There are really no problems but you have to concentrate and stay close to the mountain on the path - it's a l - o - n - g fall!
The last part is quite easy, so we're down at 10.30.
There we meet the two german girls again, they've been down at the river already. You shouldn't believe it's possible, but there is a path all the way down to Yangtze's howling waters.
We meet a belgium guy who wants to join us down there and also on a minibus back to Jane's Guesthouse, where it all started yesterday. So we'll be 6 on the way back.
We three + the belgium guy starts out for the path, by the help of a friendly chinese we find where to start.
There's a sign with the story of a teacher and his family, who constructed this path, and an old woman asks for 10 RMB from each to maintain the path. It seems reasonable, so we pay.
When you stand up there waiting to go down, you can't believe it's possible, and when you stand down there waiting to get up you can't believe it either. There are chains to grab hold of at the worst spots. Bernie don't want to do the last part, but stays up in the shadows, where half a tunnel has been cut in the mountain side. So we leave our things by her.
Equipped with cameras the three of us walk down the last couple of hundred meters to take photos and meditate a bit at the Yangtze river, which even here is all brown. We're at one of Chinas lifelines. It looks formidable.
After a hard climb we reach back to Tina's Guesthouse and have lunch. The two german girls speak chinese, they work in Shanghai, and one of them stands for the contact to Jane's Guesthouse, from where we can get a minibus for 150 RMB in stead of the 180, they ask here.
This road is also under construction, or they are widening it, so it's one hour in a road like the one from Wenchuan to Maoxian.
At Jane's we part with the belgium guy, he wants to stay at the guesthouse next to.
Then we sit down to wait and I exchange e-mail address with Markus and Bernie. We'll meet again I think - in Denmark or in Austria, Vienna that is.
Maybe we'll even meet again in China, they'll come to Chengdu at some time and are going to Xi'an, where I've planned to go too.
Then their minibus arrives bound for Shangri La. The driver wants 50 pr. person, while Jane had promised them 30. There's a long discussion, where especially one of the girls shine her chinese. They have it their way - and we part. See you again....
Now it's just to wait for more passengers back to Lijiang to turn up. The first ones to come want to go to Shangri La, eev.
Jane appears telling me that there will be no more going to Lijiang today.
So I have to walk back, cross the bridge and find the bus stop.
And I do. A girl confirms that it's the right place. How long do I have to wait?
It only takes ten minutes, then a big shiny bus arrives. That's the one, she says and I raise my arm. "Lijiang? dui", says the driver, I sit down. I wonder when I'm going to pay?
We have a toilet stop in a town, and here the driver wants me to pay. He shows with first two fingers and then five, that the prize is 25 RMB, so I make sure it's right by saying the number "er shi wu?". "Dui". It's cheaper than the minibus and this one is much more comfortable on bad roads!
When we arrive and I step outside my eye catches another westener. He's american and has been 3 days in Shangri La.
We splits a taxi from the bus station. We both live in the old town. It's not far, so the meter that starts at 7, never reaches 8.
I'm offered a new 4-bed dormitory and who's there already: Pete, my scottish friend. We've both slept in the same guesthouse on the mountain just 1 day apart and are now both back. He's going on to a town from where he can get on the train to Chengdu, I'm going back to Kunming first. It sound like the total hours for travelling for me, will be shorter than his, but I'll stay in Kunming till I've washed my clothes and they've gone dry.
I just eat here at the Garden Inn, my fried rice just arrived - and a 620 ml Dali Beer.