Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 91 Sun 26/09 - Ancient City of Dali 大理古城 to Jian Chuan 剑川

Today Distance : 117.4 km        Total : 4706.6 km
Today Weather : 17 - 26C      Intermittent afternoon rains
Time On Bike : 7 hr  26 min
Ave Speed : 15.7 kmh             Max : 55.0 kmh
Ave Climb : 3%                       Max : 13%
Trip Altitude : 945 m                Max : 1286 m
Today Spend : 82 rmb             Total : 1329.5 rmb

Very lucky today I met a solo chinese cyclist as I barely started the ride out from my hotel on Dali-Lijiang route G214. He was stopping by the road side busy taking pictures. I saw his upright bicycle was fully loaded, so very naturally, I pulled over to say hello and hoping to strike up a conversation with him. He was very friendly and introduced himself as Jin , 36 years old from Dali in his first day to Lhasa in Tibet. Iniatially,Jin told me he has a partner for this trip but pulled out last minute. Nevertheless Jin was determined to go solo , unaffected by this sudden setback in realising his dream of cycling to Tibet. Taking advantage of his situasion, I offer myself to be his new partner. Why not? since both needed a partner to take care of each other, sharing the cost of foods and accomodations and a common destination- Lhasa. It's a win-win situasion. Jin who speaks very good mandarin and a little ok English, was more than happy to accept my offer,as for me, with a local partner around,I am hoping this will help my entry to Tibet. We followed the G214 route at the northern end of the big Erhai lake, on the flat land on both sides, many farmers were seen harverting the golden paddies, and you can see smiling faces around after the hard work from planting the seed to finally harvesting the fruits. Soon after the flat land of paddies field, we came to a big climb of 11 km, gaining 850 m in altitude, then followed by a great downhill to our destination for the day in Jian Chuan. Checked into a hotel for 80 rmb It was already dark when we went for dinner in the town.Nothing much to do, back to hotel and slept early for a well earn rest.

Golden paddies on both sides
Harversted stalk of paddies neatly arranged
Road between the golden paddies
And the mountains at the far end
Now I have someone to take my photo
Traditional beating the stalk on the giant basket to segregate the paddies
Part of Erhai lake view
After the flat paddies land .Now the climb...
Road getting a bit bumpy...
Don't forget to stop,even if you enjoy the climb
My new found partner- Jin, skinny but strong
                                                    Our room ( rmb 80 ) in Jian Chuan

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 90 Sat 25/09 - Soak in the Ancient city of Dali

Today weather : 18 - 28C      Sunny
Today Spend   : 107.5 rmb   
Total Spend     : 1247.5 rmb

Today walked 5 km to the famous landmark of ancient Dali - The Chongsheng Temple & The Three Pagoda 崇圣寺三塔. But the entrance fee is far too expensive at 121 rmb, still I can still get a good look from outside the compound. No cycling today, so just sit back and enjoy more photos

                                               I couldn't resist to take a shot on her
Colourful paintings and souvenirs shop
                                                  Wu Hua Pagoda built in the year 865
                    Those who knows mandarin....on the history of Wu Hua Pagoda
                  Pedestrian walkway view from the top of Wu Hua Pagoda

                                           Walk with your eyes open 
                                                         Traditional ancient shops
                                          So old that even grass find living on the roof
                                               Fresh veggie on display
                                       And the hanging meat at the Muslim shop
                                                   A dedicated street for the westerners

                          The Wall that surround the ancient city of Dali
               At the entrance of the Chongsheng Temple & the Three Pagoda
                  National 4A tourist attraction, so pay 121rmb if you want to go in
                                                Shot taken separated by a glass wall
                                          Shot taken outside at the car park
                                                           Stalls outside
                                                             A city of Buddhism
                                                    Symbol of Dali _ Golden Phoenix