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Let The Adventure Begin! Back in Zhongdian!

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Woke feeling much better than yesterday morning. I only spent one hour in the shower hocking like an Aussie Rules footy player! I sat for a western breakfast at the Mercury Cafe on West Street. I was amazed at how many Chinese tourists were out and about and ready for a huge HELLOW as they walked on by leaving in giggles. Some joined me at my table for short times.

I watched the vender lady accross the street from me. She setting up her stall next to the Sunshine Cafe (I think it is called). Luckily I had finshed my dinner as she began picking her nose and actually wiping it on the arms of the outside chairs of the Cafe. I tried yelling out 'hello' to stop her, she just looked at me with a finger nearing full insertion and continued wiping it on the same chair arm.

I liked my breakfast, it cost me more than I usually spend in a week in Tianyang, so I wanted to keep it. Quickly I paid and headed back to collect my belongings. I caught a mini bus to the highway where I boarded a 9:30 bus bound for Zhongdian.

Argh, Shangrila!

At 3200 metres and being Yunnans first supposed taste of Tibet, it sounds so mysterious and fills ones mind full of other 'Argh' sounds, yet I knew once I arrived I would want to leave pretty much straight away. I didn't want to be around monks whom begged me for my money so they could live a free life finding their Nirvana instead of working. It's the only place in the world i've ever actually been so frustrated by begging monks whom won't leave you alone. Beggers beg for money to live. Take one look at the Monastery in Zhongdian and give me one reason why these monks have to beg!

The thought of the greed sickens me!

On the bus ride there I chatted to to English speaking Chinese. One was an English speaker as he was actually American. He let his accent slide about ten minutes after we began talking. It was good for a laugh. The other was a Chinese girl from a wealthy family whom was travelling around Asia for a year. They were on their way to Zhongdian but were thinking of staying only one night there as they wanted to trek the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

I told them that in about one hour we would be passing through Quituo and that if they weren't off the bus with their belongings and on their way to see Margo I would throw them off. No not really, they actually didn't know anything about the Gorge Trek and where it began or ended. When we arrived in Quituo they lucky buggers left the bus and promised to eat a steak at Margos for me. It took alot of work to actually NOT leave the bus with them.

Oh to walk those trails again!

I arrived in Zhongdian around 5:50 and quickly leapt from the bus. About an hour before a guy accross the isle threw up all ove rhis mate. Stragely for around seven hours he had been as white as a hospital sheet and holding a red plastic bag. At no stage did his buddy think to swap places withg him and put him next to the window. Man, did he pay for his mistake. Without going into too much detail, it seemed and smelt like much much more than seven hours of built up vomit!

I was quickly surrounded by taxi and hotel people but I rushed on by and out into the street for some fresh air. If you go to Zhongdian, don't catch a taxi to the 'old new town'. Go out front of the bus station, cross the road and you'll see a bus or two waiting. It'll cost you 1 Yuan. It'll go straight and then take a left. Don't worry, it'll then go right and head down to the YHA and head back around past the Tibetan Hotel/Cafe. I got off at the YHA and decided on a hot drink whilst waiting for Judy to arrive from Mingyong.

I sat chatting to an American guy whom had been teaching in Beijing for a year. We had a hot chocolate each and by half way through we were both on auch a suger rush that we couldn't finish them. Each mouthful was like eating a full bar of Dove Chocolate! YUKK! When Judy arrived we tried palming them off to her and even she couldn't get through a mouthful.

ACCOMMODATION: We said our goodbyes to America and headed down to the oldest buliding in the 'old new town'. We grabbed a room at the Dragon Cloud Hostel. I gave Judy the choice and she chose not to go to the Tibetan Hotel/Cafe as she had just had an argument with them as they tried to charge her for her phone call to me even though she didn't get through. The Dragon Cloud Hostel is actually very FARKING COLD! Don't stay there. The rooms are freezing in summer, there are no towels so you have to use your own and IT WILL NOT DRY! You are better off going to the Tibetan Hotel/Cafe as for a small 20 Yuan each more you get towels, carpet, full hotwater and toilet paper!

We headed for a walk. Since Yangshuo I have been slowly changing my wardrobe from cotton to microfibre. In a humid summer I sweat alot like most. In cotton you stay wet, in microfibre the material absorbes and evaporates your sweat and a HUGE added bonus...it doesn't smell. You can wash it and it is dry soon after. It's amazing stuff. I've been wanted to change over for a long time but hey, where can you get microfibre in Tianyang! Even in Nanning it's hard to find. for one tee shirt it's usually 40 Yuan. Thats like six Aussie Dollars. In Australia I guess you'd pay around fifty to eighty Aussie Dollars in a travel or camping shop.

FOOD & BAR: After dinner at Noah's Cafe we spent a few hours walking the 'new old town' streets during which we stopped to watch the nightly dance in the square. It was just beautiful. It seems its all the locals with only a few tourists whom get in a huge circle and dance for hours and hours. We ended up at a pub called the Google Bar. The couple whom own it were so friendly and happy. The snacks were fantastic and the bar itself was very comfortable. We stayed until around 3am playing cards and drinking too much whiskey.

At this stage I'm 26,285 and Judy's 26,095.

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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