Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 5 Tiger Leaping Gorge

24 October 2014 (Friday)

I had my breakfast and was ready to depart to Tiger Leaping Gorge (TLG) by 7:00 a.m. Hagrid came down late and rushed off to buy breakfast. On hind-sight, I should have been more concerned by buying breakfast for him.

I slept past midnight last night and could not get back to sleep after waking up at 4:30 a.m. I was sleepy and knocked-off in the bus every now and then.

The bus stopped at Qiaotou where a ticket officer came on board to sell us the entrance tickets. A short distant later, the group doing the high trail were dropped off. Later, a Dutch couple was dropped off to do a 3-hour day trek. Those of us going to middle TLG were the last to be dropped off, at the parking lot in front of Tina's Guest House.

I knew there was a trek from Tina's down to the gorge but could not find it. In the end, I asked the reception at Tina's and was told the trail was after the bridge. The bridge lied right after Tina's.

A fee of CNY15 was charged for the use of the private Sky Ladder/ difficult trail. The steps were narrow, uneven and steep. In other words, dangerous and I was the only person walking down the steps at that time. Half-way down, it branched into two paths, one using the Sky Ladder and the other a longer walk with a shorter ladder.

I was panting and my knees were weak already way before I reached the bottom of the gorge. I thought of giving up, knowing that climbing up was going to be more tiring than going down. The further I walked, the further I have to climb up but I did not want to give up. I did not want to regret later being so near yet so far. I made it to the point where I could see the rapids and did not want to go further as I was dead tired. In addition, there was another toll of CNY10 for the last mile. I was satisfied at where I was.

While taking photos around the area on the way up, I noticed people walking on a path cut into the cliff. I thought this must be the third and easy route that I read on the internet. I inquired from a local selling drink at a shed there and she confirmed it was the easier but longer route. My legs were tired already and I felt I could as well see different sceneries by taking this route.

This route was less dangerous with wider steps and was not so steep. However, from my gps after the trek, the distant was more than twice the route I took going down. In the end, the climb turned out to be as tiring for me. On the way back, I had to pay a toll of CNY10 at the intersection to another longer route. The lady toll collector told me it would take 40 minutes but it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach the trail exit.

Back at Tina's, I went for a late lunch of fried ham rice while waiting for the same bus that took us there to depart at 3:30 p.m.

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