Published: August 2nd 2008June 12th 2008
So because I'm quite far behind in my blog I've decided to consolidate some of the days together. 08/06/08 to 12/06/08 saw myself and Kathy traveling the Meili Snow mountains area. It was a 6 hour bus ride from Shangri-la but well worth the trip. Upon arrival we took part in my first ever Jewish Sabbat. We stayed in the best, most helpful hostel ever in Felasi (where we began our hike for Yubeng). It was called the Meili Youth hostel (20 RMB per night) and was run by this guy called Kelsang who was actually Tibetian and was stuck in China and couldn't get back home due to the border closing. During Sabbat Jian entered in just as the desert was being distributed and me and Kathy had our own celebration because we didn't think we would see him again! I ran up and hugged him just in case he disappered again in the night and I didn't get a chance to say good bye!
09/06/08 The next day we met two Americans (Jordan and Colin) from Virginia and me, Kathy, Jian, Lindsay, Jordan took a taxi (120RMB altogether bargained from 150RMB) to the Minyong Glacier (33RMB for students).
It was a steep walk up to the glacier - maybe a 60 degree incline, and the elevation was much higher than tiger leaping gorge so it was easier to run out of breath. Still we all made it to the top. It was worth it. I have never seen a glacier before and the Minyong Glacier was spectacular, some parts were a dirty gray others blue and elsewhere a blinding white. Some Asian tourists asked if they could take photos together with us so we did and headed back after this. Me and Jian tried to take another route up to a temple. It was quite steep. I found a sign that said this was part fo a pilgramage walk after 15 minutes and figured it could take us a few hours so maybe it would be best to leave it for another time (we later found out it was at least a 3 hour hike one way). We headed back for Felasi at about 2:30pm. Had some lunch and did some drinking games with Lindsay, Jordan and Colin before bed.
10/06/08 after having some Naxi baba, hot butter milk and eggs for breakfast - 7RMB, we got
into our taxi to drive to the bottom of the hot springs for the start of the hike to Yubeng (taxi managed to bargain to 120RMB for a 35km ride which the taxi guy was not too happy with). The hike itself was 1.2km in elevation (not to sure of the exact distance) and it was very tiring as it felt like we were walking the majority of the way at a 60 degree incline. I found it hard to sing and was breathing heavily the majority of the way. The downhill was the hardest for me - slipped and hurt my knee. It was worth it though. We got to upper Yubeng and decided to stay at the hiker's lodge guest house because it had an awesome toilet view and I dont think you can go wrong with an awesome toilet view - like halfway house. A local girl also advised us to stay there because that was the best view for sunrise. We had diner - 3 vegetable dishes with rice and it was about 39RMB. Then we sat outside and watched the sunset.
11/06/08 we woke up at around 7am to miserable weather (missing sun rise
The old and new town combined.
yet again due to the miserable weather). We decided to join a Chinese guy in Jian's room who was hiking to the base camp and the glacier lake. The hike took about 3 hours again it felt like a 60 degree incline - according to our map we rose another 400m in elevation to about 3800m above sea level. It was raining and muddy and lucky i had my walking stick yarr (I did still manage to fall on my elbow). We finally got to the base camp and had some noodles and tried to warm ourselves by the fire (made by a guy who was tibetian who was 31 and had 2 daughters one which was 15). Kathy and Jian stayed at the base camp while I joined the Chinese tourists we were hiking with to the base camp. It took about an hour more and maybe 100m higher but it was definately worth it. So sereen. Apparently no one has ever managed to climb the Meili snow mountain and lived (17 Japenese climbers tried, failed and perished in 1996). The Chinese girl (who I later found out was called Lichun and had just graduated from Law school) I
And the view out the front of our hostel - breathaking
met who spoke some English told me to stack a rock on top of the other stacked rocks for good luck in China and beyond so I did. Heading back to the base camp I nearly slipped in the snow. We got back to the base camp and had something to eat and Lichun told me about Lugu lake and offered I join them if I changed my mind about Yangshou. Lugu lake was this tribe where women did not marry, they just had sex with men and when they fell pregnant and had the child as they did not know who the father was, generally their brothers would help with the upbringing of the child. Jian and Kathy caught up with us by the time we finished taling and took some photos. We all walked down together back to Upper Yubeng. The walk down was harder than the walk up. Just try not to slip - I dare you! I ended up trying to ski down with my shoes and walking sticks on the mud but ended up falling on my butt. Yugo - a guy from our group - came running down practically rolling down the hill. Crazy.
Yes i know my outfit is amazing haha...
He later informed us it took him only 1 hour and 15 minutes to get down this way. I wish I could have done that but alak I had my camera with me.
Back at the guest house I took a cold shower - brrr there was no hot water. This cute trekker in a headband (who I later found out was called Tion) was singing so at least I could dance in the shower. Even though I had two lunches I was hungry again and wolfed down the diner. The kitchen ended up getting our order wrong and making the pork spicy but I was so hungry that I ate it anyways (plus I was getting used to spicy dishes). After dinner Jian mentioned getting a discount from the guest house as we were students and she gave us a discount on dinner - it was 30RMB instead of 46 and breakfast tomorrow morning was on the house!
I saw Tion and told him Nicheng hen how tin (you have a good singing voice). He was really flattered and said thank you and wanted to sing for me (translated by Jian) but he had to help his sister.
The donkeys walking around near the guesthouse
12/06/08 woke up at 6:15am for a beautiful sunrise (thanks Jian). I was so happy this was our last day here and the perfect way to end our stay. Tion (the guy with the nice voice) introduced himself - too bad there was no time to here him sing any more songs. Noodle soup for breakfast - on the house thanks to Jian! Said goodbye to Tion and we were 10 minutes into the trek back to Xidang when I realised I forgot my hat - so I ran back to get it. Luckily the people we were with were really into taking photos so it did not take long to catch up. The scenery was breathtaking. I felt so lucky to be here. I managed to slip again on my hand. After a rest in a paddock we came to a flowing river which eventually turned into thundering waterfalls. I walked with my two hiking sticks and felt like a praying mantis clawing at the ground. Lee bang how. We stopped for lunch at the village of our guide who was walking us back. Had delicious homr made wine and delicious home made lunch. We each paid 20RMB for
A lady cleans nearby
the use of his guide services and 16RMB for lunch. I was stuffed. After the lunch most of the chinese toursits we were with decided to take horses back to Xidang. Me, Kati, Jian and this Chinese tourist Chen decided to walk. Jian was ify but being the bastards that we were we roped him into walking with us. We crossed a shaky bridged and walked in the doubled back and waited in the heat with our rucksacks for the horses - they were walking as slow as we were walking. I realised how little water I had so I decided to ration and only drink when my mouth was super dry. Of course this made me more fatigued and tired. I felt like I wanted to throw up and I prayed to God I didn't get stomach sickness now in the middle of no where. Even when we stopped for breaks I didn't feel much better as I did not have much water to drink. Was it possible to so quickly start to hate China?
The breathtaking scenery, which was still there. Well I didn't want it. It stopped feeling like a holiday and felt more like a gruesome
Although chilling the view was beautiful in the evening.
pilgramage. My steps had turned into a stumble by the time the horses had passed us. My praying mantis walking sticks dragged behind me. I had started to feel foolish for not talking the horse ride back for 80RMB. The road looked like it kept on going and going. Suddenly I remebered the lolly Lichun had offered me and what a life saver and a good sugar hit. Not long after one of the last horses past us and stopped at a stream for a dink. The girl on horse back said it was safe to drink the water so I had some. I thought rather risk getting the stomach bug then suffering dehydration. The water was so delicious (and I drank so much my stomach bloated). It was chilled and crisp and fresh like from a spring ( I think it was).
We finally made it to the town (what a God send). We waited for Chen - he walked really slow and took the second car back to town. My memory card failed and I had a big panic attack that I would loose all my photos on my 1 gig card but then we managed to fix
The monk near our guest house that sat thier at sunrise. And meditated.
it. 2.5 hours later we were in Felasi and it was 9:30pm. Jian was talking to the driver and Chen. Suddenly he was like what you bastard. We paid 35RMB each for the taxi. I asked Jian what was wrong after we left the car. He said that Chen had apparently gotten friendly with the driver and had told the driver to charge as extra as we were foreigners. Jian said we werent paying any extra and we would split the cost - but he wasnt sure if the others had to pay as much as we did. What a bastard. Jian had shared a room with this guy for 2 nights plus we had treked together to the base camp and waited for him whilst trekking today.
Anyway when we got back we decided to check intot eh Meili Youth Hostel and Kelsang was pleased to see us back and was worried if we were ok. He said we would not be able to catch a bus back to Lijiang but we could catch a taxi to Daichin and get a bus to Shangri-la which connected to Lijiang. He said we could share the taxi with some french guys
No sunrise visible but still an amazing view on the first morning.
who were also leaving tomorrow. We had some dinner in one of the hotels.
There are more photos below