Saturday, 24 June 2017

Hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge in China


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HIKING THE TIGER LEAPING GORGE IN CHINA
Tiger Leaping Gorge in China is believed to be the deepest gorge in the world. The mountains on either side of the Tiger Leaping Gorge reach over 5,000m at their highest point, looking down to the Yangtzee River running through it below. The dramatic scenery and relaxed hike along the high path through the rural villages of the Naxi minority people make this a very enjoyable travel adventure to have in China.
DAY 1 HIKING THE TIGER LEAPING GORGE
The trail begins with a slightly uphill track through villages and farms taking you up to the edge of the mountains with splendid views of the muddy Yangtzee river below. The weather was wet so we had to take extra care with the muddy narrow tracks. As we began the hike in the evening and we weren't pushed for time, we only trekked for 1.5 hours before we reached our first sleeping place the Naxi guesthouse.
The Naxis are a Chinese minority group and can be identified by their royal blue and white outfits. The Naxi guesthouse is a popular resting place for travelers hiking the Tiger leaping Gorge trail. There were about 10 other travelers there and we had a relaxing evening talking over a delicious dinner and then retiring to a $5 room overlooking the central courtyard.
DAY 2 OF HIKING THE TIGER LEAPING GORGE
As it was Craig's birthday, we decided to have a sleep in and hike for only 3 hours to the next guesthouse. The bad weather had cleared, and although the first hour was difficult with a 3,000m summit hike, the view as the clouds cleared to reveal the jagged mountain tops opposite made it all worthwhile. The walk then leveled out through pine forests, past waterfalls and snaking along the cliff edge for spectacular views.
The outstanding views made it all worthwhile. We had heard a lot of talk before going on the trek about it being quite dangerous and difficult. We didn't find it to be this bad but you certainly want to be of reasonable fitness to do the hike. The trail can be very narrow and slippery at times so you do have to be extra vigilant with each step, especially in wet weather.
DAY 3 OF HIKING THE TIGER LEAPING GORGE
We loved The Halfway Guesthouse so much we stayed an extra night and spent our spare day hiking around the area. It was here, as we were coming back down from the mountain, that I learned how treacherous the path could be in the rain. I slipped on a rock and slammed down very hard, corking my butt on the corner of the rock. I had a quite the souvenir bruise from it. Taking a walk in the soft evening light that evening was a magical time to take in the serenity and beauty of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and helped to take my mind of my aching butt.

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