Iva's diary closely comes to an end. Enjoy part 5 of 6, leading her always in the direction of the Myanmar border, passing Dali, Baoshan and the great Nujiang River during the second half of July. Hospitality of locals, increadible scenery but also heaps of rain were her companions.
Dingle walked through Dali in winter when there was still snow on the mountains. I walked through Dali in summer when there was heaps of rain. But the rain let up and I was able to wander around Dali at the southern end of Lake Erhai. Tomorrow I head south to Baoshan into an area where Dingle states that there was not a single li (an old unit of distance) of level road.
Pingpozhen was the quietest village I have stayed in. No sound all night until the roosters started talking to each other. Even the locals didn't start making noise until 8am. And the village hotel had a very comfortable bed...usually the village beds are hard planks with hardly any padding. Dingle mentioned staying in Yangpi. Was this Yangbi? The walk to Yangbi was lovely, following the river and passing small villages and rice fields. Yangbi is a fairly large town and I noticed that black, red and yellow are the local colours of this region. I head into the mountains tomorrow....up the valley behind the temple in the last picture.
What a great walk today. The scenery between Yangbi and Taipingxiang was awesone. Loved the brooding mountains. Also learned that road 0X85 is also the Stilwel Road also known as the Burma Road. Had a posh lunch of saltine crackers and processed cheese. Topped by some Dove dark chocolate. Yummy. To the people of Taipingxiang, especially Chiao we, Chun ge le, and Ian ge - thank you for your friendship and hospitality. It was awesome having a very delicious dinner with you and other members of the community. And thank you for giving me a bed for the night. I will never forget you.
I finally arrived in Baoshan after walking nearly 28 km along a cobblestone road. There was some construction, but this was mainly building the stone and cement barriers along the side of the road. Only four trucks and the kids walking in the mud puddles had the right idea. The road was pretty level, but it was slow walking because of the stones which made my feet hurt. Passed a few villages, one with some neat mud brick buildings. Countryside was mainly corn, but also some tea plantations. Mountains in both sides of the valley and I walked by a large lake that actually looked blue. It was hot and I very much enjoyed my favorite hawthornberry ice block.
What a wonderful afternoon in Shu Jie's tea house. Music, three different tea ceremonies, laughter, lots of questions and very fine tea. Thank you Shu Jie.
My wonderfully clean clothes and pack got covered in mud first thing this morning after an idiotic driver drove far too fast through the village, totally ignoring the pot holes full of water. Luckily, I found some water to wipe off the mud so that I did not look like paintball reject. I was not amused! The rest of the day was spent quietly crossing over the pine tree covered mountains into the valley where Pupiaozhen is located. A most interesting statute of a pre-historic man was found during a wander through town. I cross the hills to the west of Pupiaozhen tomorrow to get into the Nu River valley.
The day for my walk to Lujian started out with thunderstorms and rain but the weather gradually improved. The tops of the mountains were shrouded in cloud and I had fog at the pass but I walked through some lovely valleys full of corn and sunflowers. The descent into the Nu River valley followed some very steep and wild ravines. Finally reached the Dongfeng bridge spanning the very brown Nu River which was next to an old suspension bridge. Mangoes and logan fruit abounded and I was treated to both by villagers out collecting the fruit.
The last part of Iva's diary will follow soon... For questions and queries please contact us.