Chapter 20 – 中国 Part 3

Praying for our safe travels at a monastery in Dali, Yunnan

Fanny at South gate of Dali

Er Hai lake with Bai ethnic minority people

Er Hai … they say its very dangerous to ride without a helmet. They are right… I got very burnt.

Er Hai Lake in Dali

Fanny and Dinesh (Dino) Nihalchand at Wu Wei Si (Monastery above Dali) This is where I studied Taijiquan in 2008 during a semester break from Mandarin studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Fanny stretching on the Gongfu training square at Wu Wei Si or practicing to get on a Yamaha XT 660

Bikes parked up in Lijiang, Yunnan

Tiger Leaping Gorge … being careful not to lean back too much

Some roads good and some bad as we head north west towards Shangri-la

Our lodge just outside Shangri-la

Super clouds over Shangri-la

Ah… that’s why its called Shangri-la ….. a direct hit

Starting to ride further up into the Himalayas towards Deqin

The long road meanders, twists and turns up to 4,000 meters and then down to 3,000 meters many times. Quite superb biking conditions and TR650s going really well.

Roads have to be built sometime and it takes a bit of nerve to ride along pitted, muddy roads between trucks, diggers, excavators and 1000 meter sheer drops

The roads carved into the mountains zig zag upwards… good fun

Bai Ma Xue Shan at 5,460 meters behind us.

Another 4000 + meter pass

And at the end of a superb day’s riding we reach fei lai si (Flying Temple) where on the other side of the deep valley as the sun is setting is mei li xue shan (Beautiful Snow Mountain) at 6,740 meters.

The Himalayas… what can you say?

We took a lot of pics at fei lai si

Fanny with our bikes ….with mine taking on a more “sheepy” look to relieve the piles.

Its all too easy to look around in wonder at the magnificent scenery as you cruise along at 4,000 meters and forget that the weather and trucks take their toll on the roads. Sometimes the road just disappears which could be interesting if you didn’t stop in time.

The road is strewn with rocks and debris that fall down the mountain sides. We saw hard working people clearing it up all the time, but sometimes the whole road is covered or missing.

Next some yak horns on the front and a Tibetan multi coloured mudflap on the back…then we are sorted.

Some fellow bikers in Tibet. I have to say two wheels with an engine is the way to do it at 3-4,000 meters. I am out of breath doing up my boots.

I am not keen on getting wet, and I particularly dislike thunder and lightening and so we took refuge in a small Tibetan village as this storm crashed and banged passed us.

Taking cover from the rain and making friends with our first Tibetans

One of many Tibetan farm houses we passed.

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