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Published: December 18th 2006
After some discussion, the G-6 (group of six) decided to venture up to the gorge and make a day trip out of it. There had been some speculation about doing it as an overnight journey, but after a while the merits of the day trip won out and we decided to go by local bus. We designated Lincoln and Nora to go on our behalf, and reimbursed them the 23 RMB cost of the tickets upon their return. About 10pm that night, we had a discussion with the guesthouse staff about getting out the next morning. The doors are locked up, and they could not believe that we would have to leave at 6:30 am. Finally, we showed them our tickets thinking this would finally do the trick. Quite the opposite, we found out that we had tickets to the wrong village by the same name. Come to find out, there are many villages in China that share the same name, and the 'helpful' staff at the bus depot did not bother bother asking us which one we wanted to go to or draw the logical conclusion that we wanted to go to the one that was next to the tourist
sight. So, after a big group discussion, we decided to hire someone at the local guesthouse to drive us there for 83 RMB per person. The cost of the tickets was designated a loss, for in order to have a remote possibility of a refund, we would have to go to the bus depot before the bus left, and hope for the best. It was one of those moments that I needed to just let go. I had lived for 23 RMB a day while in Yangshou, so it was not a little thing for me to just forget about it. Considering that I could have lived much better for 50 RMB a day. But in the end, Paul paid me 20 RMB to eat a chili during the hike, so it was all good. Plus, as we found out, we probably saved money by hiring a SUV for the day. Once we arrived, we would have had to take a second bus, plus a bus from the gorge to the village, and then the regular bus back to Lijiang. We heard from some hikers that went that route that they ended up paying 40 for the 3rd segment alone.
The 4 Aussies, Nora (from Holland) and I plus our driver (John)
So, all was good. In the end, we had fantastic sunny weather, and thoroughly enjoyed the trek. It took all day, a few hours to get there, several hours for the hike, and then a few to get back, but it was a really enjoyable time. Granted, living in the Pacific Northwest of America, there was not anything terribly novel about the whole 'mountain' thing, but for a total cost of $15 for the day, it was a fun outing. Pics tell the story best.
After the outing, we returned on the night bus to Kunming. This bus was super compared to the other one. It smelled nice, the driver was not using our storage space for freight, and he was even in a good mood. After 1 day of resting in Kunming, the boys flew back to Guangzhou, Nora flew back to Hong Kong, and I got on my 'express' bus to Vietnam.
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