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Tiger Leaping Gorge

Totally worth the 28 bends

Jason managed to persuade me to trek the Tiger Leaping Gorge and although it was hard I'm glad he made me do it.

We chose to stop at the beginning of the gorge at Jane's Guesthouse in Quiatou (pronounced Chow-tow). There's not much there really so we spent time watching The Wire series again. It meant the we could have an early start and ensure we completed the first part of the walk in daylight. We set off at 8.00am and gently strolled up to Naxi guesthouse so that we could get some breakfast. Mine was lovely...a vegetable omelette and mint tea. But Jason chose maize porridge, which was awful. I don't know how he finished it, but he did through politeness.

The next part of the walk was the challenging bit...28 bends!!!! Its a series of winding bends that are so steep and it was really warm too (my poor nose got sunburnt again!). You could opt to be taken up on a mule, but jason convinced me that it would be an achievement to complete the walk instead. I had to stop on every bend for a rest but I did it. From there its a beautiful walk to the Halfway point where you can spend the night. You are walking amongst cloud cover at times, high above the gorge, with spectacular mountainous views. Its really worth all the effort of the climb. I hope the photos give a sense of it.

We stayed at a new place called Come Inn at the half way point. It won us over with its terrace views. We were also lucky because they only had dorm rooms left when we got there, but we ended up having a 6 bedded dorm to ourselves so it was like having an ensuite room anyway. The owners wife cooked us a lovely stir fried pork dish for our tea too. Would definitely recommend.

I thought the next day was going to be a bit easier...how wrong I was! The first part was fine, a downhill 2 hour walk to Tina's hostel...a breeze. We had a quick drink and then Jason wanted to go and explore the very bottom of the gorge, where the myth says the tiger lept over the white water. OMG...I should have known better...the walk down to the river was steep and long and I should have considered how I was going to get back up. It took 40mins to get down and over an hour to get back up. I completely freaked out trying to climb back up because you have to climb up 40 metres of ladder unharnessed and half way up I froze. My legs turned to jelly and I couldn't turn around. Eventually I got up, very slowly! Even Jason admitted that he had underestimated how steep it was.

So that was the gorge...challenging, beautiful and most definitely worth it!

Posted by bloorsontour 04:11 Archived in China

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