Nanning to Dali
20.07.2011 - 23.07.2011 24 °C
So I'm finally out of that sauna calles Nanning and may I let you know; I'm so freaking happy to be out of that freaking hole! Ok, so maybe hole is a little dramatic and over the top, but hey, since when haven't I been??
So, after Detian Falls and it's absolutely amazing-ness I meandered out to some caves about 2hrs out of Nanning. It was nothing amazing, spectacular or awe-inspiring (expecially when compared to those caves of Jianshui, Yunnan) but they were a lovely respite from the outside humidity. 4km underground can do that to you So fast-forwarding to the last day of Nanning and I thought I would bide my time and go shopping in the absolutely massive market area opposite the "hostel". Climbed to the 6th floor out of sheer curiosity and my mind was absolutely blown! So imagine the space of Chirnside Park SC and fill it from wall to wall, ceiling to ceiling with awesome Chinese/Asian stationary. Need I say more than 3.5hrs and 80yuan later I was all stationaried out. But seriously it is something you can not get sick of, stationary, expecially Asian stationary, at less that factory outlet prices and as far as the eye can see is not something you can give up so easily. (unfortunately I uploaded the pics to my laptop when I called into school, wiping them from my camera.... bugger...)
Train from Nanning to Kunming was little less than a nightmare. So currently buying train tickets is a gamble as its uni school holidays and tickets are virtually booked out. So I wasn't 100% sure on what class of spot I had on the train, jusr rhar I had a spot to Kunming. wooo. So anyway. Got on the train and to my utter disbelief I had a hard SEAT all the way from Nanning to Kunming, you try sitting still for 18hrs over night on something about as comfortable as your kitchen bench and tell me you aren't mildly agitated by the end of it
Walked out at Kunming train station and it felt like coming home. Yunnan! How I missed you so!! Got the bus back to school, thought I would be able to sneak in whilst everyone was in class. Silly me forgot that whilst exams are running there is no normal timetable thus a sneaky entrance was not much of an option. It was kinda blown out of the water actually. Got to the front door of the flat after many hellos and whispers, put the key in the door, dumped my bag on the floor, turn around and see Jack headed my way. Such a babe, poped in said hello and left me to my own devices which went a little something like this;
-Dump clothes in washing machine
-Turn on washing machine
-Walk away, have shower
-Walk past washing machine to room and think "wtf it hasn't started yet, thats odd"
-Collapse on bed and drift to sleep
-Suddenly wake up and think "duh dick head, usually helps if you plug in the washing machine!"
-Zombie walk to machine, plug it in zombie walk back
-Pass out once more.
So as you can imagine was just awesome. Gin came round at about 4pm followed shortly by Helen, Mona and Jack and together we went and had dinner. Chilled. They had exams that night so left. I packed and listened to Nova. Then Mona came back and we chatted for a while followed by some of the guys from class which was really nice, they were so shy but its great that they persisted with it. Smart guys. Come 10:30pm everyone was in the flat, Graham showed up and it was literally a full house again.
Left the following day, delivered my bike to Paul, after a relaxing ride through Kunming in peak hour traffic, who bought it from me to sell it on (such a love, thanks again). Chilled in Foreigner Street for a while over a beer and dinner then headed off to the station to catch my train to Dali. Apparently had a soft sleeper which was nice. Got to Dali at something like 8am, rocked up to the old town and got a room at the "Jade Roo International Hostel" now I will give you one chance to figure out the nationality of the people that run it Melbournians through and through with wicked as accents I had forgotten we could sound like that lol. Strolling through the street fo Dali I got a text from Nat saying that she and Joe were in town as of that night. Wooooo so as you can imagine was a little excited at the prospect of some English speaking company Was great to see them. lots of stories over dinner and beer. I'm ashamed to say I think I babbled wayyyy too much, lack of company apparently can do that to you. oh ohhhh....
Following day headed out to Jizu Shan or "Chicken Foot Mountain" to stay the night on the mountain and watch the sunrise. Got there and roamed the gardens for a bit where I was accompinied by one of the resident Monks who endevored to tell me the legend of the mountain and its significance in Budhist culture (in as simple a Chinese he could manage which was nice), all the while picking fruit from the trees we walked past and handing it to me saying "eat the fruit it is good for your physical and spiritual health". Can't argue with that now can I? The Monk had an air of calm knowledge about him which was highly infectious. So when he said he had to leave for afternoon prayers, I was left in a very calm and relaxed state.
Walking up that mountain was hard work I shall have you know, I think I have become more unfit since coming to China. But I did it, got to the 3,000-odd-meter summit and realised I was so high up that both the mountain and I were shrouded in the clouds that christened the head of the mountains all around. I wandered into the nunnery up on the summit and looked around the absolutely exquisite gardens. Drew a couple of sketches and had dinner with the Nuns. Vegetables and rice washed down with a bit of tea. Very nice and all grown on the mountian. I spent the night there too so I could watch the sun rise. Can I just say now, an electic blanket, doona, thermal sleeping-bag liner, jeans, socks, singlet top, 3/4 sleeve top and a jumper was quite simply not enough. It was bloody freezing up there!!
Unfortunately when I woke up at 4:30am to the sounds of morning prayers and bells I could see nothing of the rising sun past the clouds which allowed me to see no further than 3m a head of me and tragically was the same at 8am when it came time to leave but the sun was already up.
So thats what I've been up to recently. Off to Lijiang on Monday. until next time. be good