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Thursday 14 Sep
Qiaotou, China

Leaping Simon Gorge

The bus journeys around China are cheap - like about 1 GBP for a 2-3 hour ride. This all seems rather appealing until you actually get on and have to endure what can only be described as torture. The Chinese men chain smoke and chain hawk (spit) as if their lives depended on it. If there is only 1 rogue smoker you can usually gesticulate strangling and choking signs until they feel too guilty and stop, but if there is a group then forget about it, you just have to grin and bear it. I normally don't actually grin whilst enduring this Cheesy

Two ironic things happened on our trek. One was that my 95 GBP Salomons decided to start hurting my heel a few days prior to starting it. And I mean really hurting as in big red lump on tendon hurting even though I had bought them months in advance, worn them in and all the other things I should have done to make things breezy. Buggery bollocks!! So I did my trek in el cheapo rip offs and got some lovely blisters for the pleasure. The second thing was that my faithful Canon Ixus which was responsible for some great skinny shots over the years caved in on the very first photo on the trek. It was actually very funny - the timing was impeccable as the scenery was jaw dropping bloody fantastic for a full 48 hours. Another buggery bollocks!!

The good news was that we had the greatest time and met lots of fab people and if all promises are kept we will still have some amazing shots from Ozzies (thanx again Craig, Caroline and Janet) we met along the way. Or they will just have lots of amazing shots of us Wink and think who the hell are these two??? The trek was pretty tough in parts, the 28 bends being probably as severe for me as actually getting the real bends. For some reason we decided not to break much and after about 4 1/2 hours walking mostly uphill, 2 hours VERY uphill I felt rather exhausted like I could just go to sleep on the spot. Luckily my speciality of downhill walking came next and we flew past everyone and spent the night at Halfway House which meant superb scenery, lively conversation and lots of beer. The next day was even more awesome as we climbed down into the gorge and truely felt the power of the water which has taken many lives including 2 poor goats which we saw floating bloated downstream. This didn't bode well for us if animals as nimble as goats could fall in and we were extra cautious climbing up the aptly signed 'dangerous ladder' route. The 'safe path' route didn't seem quite as thrilling and our at times scary ascent was brilliant and satisfying. Especially satisfying was that we didn't actually fall to our untimely deaths.

The night was spent at what I will call Laugh Seans as there was Cheesytea and Laughpancakes amongst other things which made for a hilarious night. We missed the last bus the next morning but luckily cash talks in China and we managed to privately hire a car to take us back to where our bags were stashed at Jane's Guesthouse (brill place) at the start of the trek. What we thought would be a sedentary relaxing ride turned out to be a bit of a scary wild dash around rock slides and waterfalls over the rode all whilst our rather over chilled driver lit ciggies and checked his mobile phone - coming precariously close the edge more than once. We actually felt like a ciggie when he got us back in one piece! Had a jasmine tea instead Cheesy

The title of this entry comes from a dream that one of our fellow backpackers had after our night at Seans. He dreamt that he managed to leap over the gorge and so they renamed it Leaping Simon Gorge. Simon - I thought I would help keep your dream alive...

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Shandrewsadventure

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Photo Album

  • Jane's great...

    Qiaotou

    China

    Jane's great guesthouse @ the start of the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek
  • Chinese...

    Qiaotou

    China

    Chinese garbage collection (or lack thereof)!
  • Pic from our...

    Qiaotou

    China

    Pic from our balcony @ Jane's
  • Shanna with 2...

    Qiaotou

    China

    Shanna with 2 cats on her lap!