Page 31 of Pennyfarthing Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming November 8th 2009

Saturday morning saw us up at 6am and off the the airport for an early flight to Kunming. Our backup bus met us at the airport and took us on the 1 1/2 hour trip to the Stone Forest south of the airport. This is a forest of 100 acres or more of stones sticking out of the ground and weather worn over th last 2 million years. Many look like animals and people, examples being the queen with her crown, fish kissing, tiger, dog etc. It was very interesting and was accompanied by traditional dancing. The worst mistake we made was to walk up the steps to the 'conning tower' to have a view of the park from above. By this time the park was heaving and it was like Hillsborough all over again with ... read more
Boat on Lake Erhai
Mother and Child
Lime Kiln

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang October 30th 2009

After my last comment yesterday we went along the Gorge road and to the Old Ferry. The last section was on an old stone track, which turned into a bullock track with sand, gravel and boulders on its way down to the Yangtze. This was downhill and was too much of a temptation to Graham and myself and we ended up duelling down the track getting into wild slides and much shouting. Needless to say Graham won, he being twenty years my junior and obviously not as frightened of teh consequences. The last 200 yds were very dodgy where we had to carry our bikes on shoulders along a goat track ledge 30" wide alongside the fast flowing water. Eventually all got down and we crossed on the old ferry, which was naturally driven by an ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Tiger Leaping Gorge October 29th 2009

What a fantastic place! The scenery is amazing. The Yangtze River, a pea green colour, crashes through the gorge in places, running very fast, and in others it just meanders. The surrounding mountains are magnificent. This area is very remote, very wild, each family appears to have its own little patch, growing rice and maize. There are also lots of fruit trees, some bearing pomegranites. This morning it was extremely cold, I had to wear long trousers, several layers, jacket and gloves. It warmed up though as the day progressed, and ended up a scorcher at 35 deg. When the wind blows it is like a hot air drier. Some of the roads are not made up and we have to ride over gravel. There have been lots of landslides. Health and safety regulations do not ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Qiaotou October 28th 2009

Have just seen a sign post, one way said to 'Tiger Leaping Gorge', which is our destination tomorrow, and the other way said to 'Shangrila', so I'm nearly there! We are in Qiaotou today, having ridden for approx 53 miles. Have done a lot of climbing again today, lots of hair pins, and are now at about 3-4000m. Very hot today, about 35 deg. Had lunch at a road side cafe, still more rice! This town is very small, only about 50 houses and shops and is situated in an extremely steep sided valley. Last night's entertainment, which we had been looking forward to, was a bit of a disappointment, the presenter talked on and on, in Chinese, for far too long. The music etc was interesting and entertaining when it finally got its turn.... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang October 27th 2009

It is now late afternoon on our first proper rest day. sorry for repeating myself this morning, it must be the heat making me forget what I have written about this amazing place. The Jade Dragon Park was interesting and heard a Folk Band playing just like we should hear tonight. The lake also bubbles if you clap your hands - or is this a co-incidence. The old square had folk dancing at lunch time and allowed me to take pictures and video of people in traditional costume. The variety of Chinese facial characteristics is huge due to its vast area and make very interesting photo shots, especially if you can do it without them knowing. I look forward to seeing all my shots on my return and listening to my Chinese Folk Music CD's. China ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang October 27th 2009

LIGANG Well! I have now arrived in Ligang old city. What a place. It was 70% demolished in the 1976 earthquake which struck this region and was rebuilt in the old style of wooden houses with grey tiled rooves curving with ornate styles and painted red walls. The roads are of large, well worn granite blocks for pedestrians only and are packed solid with visitors and and shops. the shops sell everything imaginable from clothing, antiques, tourist gifts and food. It is a UNESCO listed site and is well worth a visit, even if it is a manic busy place. It has been a trading city for hundreds of years being on the trade route fro tea fron South West China and horses from Tibet plus being part of the silk road of Asia from Burma ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang October 26th 2009

Have now arrived in Lijiang and what an amazing place it is. It looks like a really old town, but in reality, it was all built in the last 12 years following the destruction of the original town by an earthquake. The whole place looks very antique with lots of sloping roofs. There must be at least 3000 shops. The town is literally heaving with people. There are bands playing and music and chaos are everywhere, what an experience!... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Dali October 25th 2009

Another hot and cloudless day, 33deg, although it was cooler this morning as we set off. Have been doing lots of climbing in the mountains today, 1000m up then 1000m down. Lots of hairpin bends and lots and lots of smoky wagons, labouring up the hills, belching out clouds of fumes-our poor lungs! Our diet of rice and noodles. which are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is becoming rather wearing. Yesterday the meal was so spicy that it burnt our lips so we have asked them to tone down the spices a bit. Have passed what appear to be lots of lime kilns today where they appear to be curing earthenwear roof tiles. On the roads the farmers lay out their rice crop for the passing traffic to thresh, then they sweep it up and ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Dali October 24th 2009

A very hot day today, 33-35 deg C. It gets very hot in the afternoons but at 6.00pm, when the sun sets, it becomes a lot cooler. Most nights I have been in just shirt sleeves but last night I had to wear a sweatshirt. Dali was a very nice place, very touristy, with lots of vigour, lights, live music in the streets and 100s and 100s of shops. I bought 4cds of traditional music and some small gifts.I am very worried about the weight for the plane. Been to a Bai village, a minority people with their own small kingdom. They had a market selling spices, live fish swimming about in buckets, live chickens, chicken feet and pigs' heads. It was a very interesting place. Most of the population are very friendly and the young ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Dali October 23rd 2009

Only a short report today. Have visited 3 pagodas and 7 temples. To tell the truth I was not too bothered about this visit, but I went and was glad I had, it was very interesting and needless to say, a great photo opportunity. Sadly, Frank, one of the group, put his camera down. He forgot about it for a short time, you can guess the rest, when he realised he had forgotten it and went to find it, it had gone! Someone had taken it along with the 600 photos he had taken. Devastating! Climbed Cang Sham Mountain, 4122m. had a good walk on the paths. ... read more

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