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Published: June 14th 2017
Geo: 26.9025, 99.9316
To say it was an epic journey to Lijiang, is an understatement! Over 30 hrs of travelling by train is bad enough, but when you add becoming ill with the flu to the mix, it makes it a hellish affair. Libby had been ill in Chengdu, and more through the fault of the air conditioning than her, it spread! The first train was a 19hr 3 tier sleeper, which wasn't to bad, apart from the gremlin I had sat on my chest. As we moved onto our hard seater for 9 hours (8 of us crammed in a small compartment, sat on 3 tier sleeper beds - not a lot of padding!) the fever started, and the feeling horrendous began. I am not sure if i have ever had the flu before, but the acheyness seemed to resemble what i have heard before.
I was so glad for my bed in the Carnation, a lovely hotel, set in the old town of Lijiang, a popular tourist destination for the Chinese as well as random backpackers from around the world. There was a courtyard in the middle, with traditional style buildings surrounding it, and a huge rustic wood table. There were
also two resident dogs, the little cute one (with a Chinese name that was unpronounceable) was a vicious little sod, that had warnings on the wall about, and Anna, the large Alsatian, who looked like she could take you down in one leap, was the biggest sop in the world, and liked a nice little cuddle. In the morning, to put it politely, i felt like shit on a stick! Until dinner time, at abt 8pm, i did nothing but sleep, and take Chinese, little green pills.... now considering there was nothing on the packet in a western character, let alone in English, i have no idea what the hell is in them.... but they were good! By the evening, i could just about stand up, so went for some dinner with the girls and Chris. Now i am not sure whether it was all of the pills in me, or the amount of chili in my twice cooked pork, but something cleared my nose that evening.
We woke up at 4am Beijing time, to watch our home country, impress the world with Danny Boyles spectacular.... it did not disappoint. We were dancing in our beds with Steph and Libby screaming
out Hey Jude at the end, with enough volume to wake the entire of China up. It was quite a moment, slightly strange that we were the other side of the world, when all of this was going on at home, but it definitely made us proud of home.
Unfortunately, due to being ill, i did not get to appreciate the beauty of this area, renowned for its little streets, old houses and surrounding mountains. Furhtermore, due to the lack of the truck, we were unable to go to Tiger Leaping Gorge, but i dare day in the countries to come, there will be plenty of gorges to go and explore. It was then time to head to Dali, famous for the 3 Pagodas and similar in nature to Lijiang. Only a 2 hr train journey away.... easy times!!
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