Tour de Beisha
Lijiang Travel Blog› entry 3 of 10 › view all entries
A day cycling to Beishe and back. It's supposed to be 10k away, but I don't believe a word of it. I met a couple of English people on the road, who teach in Chonqqing. They had stopped and were staring at their map because they couldn't understand why they weren't there yet. The weather wasn't looking promising when I left, but within half an hour it had become scorching, so it was hard work. Beishe is a Naxi village - really pretty with a mountain backdrop. The old Naxi ladies don't half know how to get money out of you though. I managed to avoid the lady who kidnaps you to dress you up in Naxi clothes - however, when I wandered into a quiet area where five old ladies were sitting, they greeted me, and one jumped up and waved me into the courtyard of her home. I knew instantly that this would cost me money.
For about ten seconds I was a bit bothered, but then just went with the flow. There's only so much anything can cost here. She sat me down and started bringing out all manner of goodies, while her cute grandkids ran around, and were teasing me by running off every time I got my camera out. She almost force fed me melon juice, biscuits, sunflower seeds, bananas and pomegranates. Then she asked for 8 kuai (about 50p) I gave it to her and said I needed to go, upon which she poured everything into a cotton 'goody bag' and tied it up for me - a plastic bag of biscuits (enough to feed me for the whole holiday), a bunch of bananas, a salad bowl of sunflower seeds, and the biggest pomegranate you ever saw. If I'm going to get scammed, this way's not bad at all! And it was really interesting to see inside one of these Naxi homes and their courtyards, so all in all, a good experience.
The journey home was a prettier way. A young Chinese couple had approached me to ask if they could borrow my bike pump, and they were going that way, so I followed them. It was stunning. Wonderful scenery, green and agricultural with the mountains behind and yaks in the fields.
I got up early this morning to go up to Black Dragon Pool Park (the classic photo with the mountain in the background). The park is gorgeous, but Yulong Snow mountain was hiding in the mist, so I couldn't get the classic picture. I've just been up there again, but no joy, even though it's a lovely sunny day. I did find some Aussies there though (westerners are not that numerous) and got them to take my photo to prove that I've not spent the whole fortnight in Beijing airport!