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Sunday, May 09, 2004

Friday: Taxi, Bus, Taxi, Plane, Taxi, Train!

Today has absolutely been the busiest day of traveling
that I have ever done in my entire life. It was a
little much. Tried to eat some breakfeast, finished
packing my bag then headed out the door. Caught a Taxi
to the train station and waited on Mr. Who. It is
intresting that as I waited Nancy showed up who was
the student who really wanted to go with me. She is
going to go to Dalian. She waited with me until Mr.
Who got there. We then hopped on the long distance bus
and started to Beijing. The ride was long but
beautiful. All of the mountains are green now, so it
was fun to look out the wondow. Also watched Charles
Angles II. We stopped one time, so they could wash the
bus. It had to be clean before we could enter Beijing.
Mr Who and I talked. He likes to travel and lives in
his sisters apartment. He has many big dreams. At some
point after we got into the limits of Beijing, the bus
dropped us off at the side of the road and told us to
take a Taxi to the airport. A minivan was there and
offered to take us. We hopped in and a little wjile
later, he dropped us off. We were extremely early, but
we were there. We went and had a very expensive lunch.
Turkey sandwhiches. We then looked around some shops.
I looked at the International part to see what it was
going to be like to leave. It is going to be a hastle
I think. You have to have a plane ticket to get
through to the Plane lines. I do not have one since I
ordered mine through Travelocity. This will be
intresting. We then sat and read books. We finally
checked in. Had to pay an Airport tax at the window.
One of those hidden fees. We then went to a gate. The
passengers were angry as the flight had been delayed
for two hours. This was not ours as the gate had been
changed. It would be changed three times before we
left. We finally got ready to check in. Buses took us
to the plane and we were on our way. Listened to some
country music as it was the first that I have heard in
awhile. The served us dinner. They asked Seafood or
Beef but what they meant was do you want seafood
because that is all that we have. I ate, but it was
terrible. We landed a little later. As soon as we
landed, we picked up Mr. Whos bag and rushed to the
train station. We got there and bought our tickets
then boarded right as the train was taking off. Had to
get the soft sleeper as that was all that we had. We
were now on our way to Dali. We talked and another guy
shared the same sleeper with us. After exhaustion, we
turned in and dreamed of Dali.

Saturday!
Peace, Pain, and Paradise!
Today has been one of the most amazing days of my
life. I woke up this morning and watched the beautiful
lush green mountains pass out the window.
Occasionally, I would see a Bai village in the
mountains where all of the houses are built out of
wood. They were simply fantastic. As everyone awoke, I
stared out the window as we got closer to Dali. I
could see huge rice fields out the window with people
out breaking the fields and letting water fill up the
rice patties. We finally got into the city. It was
huge and ugly. I was a little disappointed, but as we
got into the Taxi, I learned that we were not in Dali.
The Taxi driver drove us into the Old City, and the
closer that we got the happier that I became. City
vanished into Fields and Pristine Alpine Mountians
that towered over the entire plateau. To the right was
a huge lake that reminded me a lot of the great salt
lake. The views were simply extrodinary. We finally
got into the old city and my face just lit up with
this huge smile. All of the street, buildings and
walls were made out of cobblestone, and it was simply
beautiful as it was covered in flowers and other
greenery. The taxi driver waited on us as she offered
to take us to the Mountain for free. We checked into
the Old Dali Inn which was a beautiful youth hostel
that is in an amazingly designed building. We got our
hotel key then headed out the door to Chang Shan. We
got out then took a lift to the top. The cable car was
so high in the air as it glided over a huge george. We
were several thousand feet into the air. It was a
little scary. The moutntains were stunning. Huge
waterfalls with crystal clear blue water. It was
simply amazing. We got off and hiked around. There
were these beautiful mbut mischevous Moknkeys that we
took some pictures off. We went to an oversized
Chinese Chess game that was on the top of the
Mountain. It was incredible. We then hiked to the
bottom of one of the Georges. The views were amazing.
Passed a boy who was carrying a huge slab of granite
on his back. I do not know how he did it. Men at the
bottom had cut it from huge bolders. We started
towarsds the bottom then I sleped and slid down the
path a ways. I ran into an old man who fell on top of
me. He was also carrying a huge pece of granite, so we
were both momentarily pened under it. They came and
helped us. We were allright, but my leg was bruised as
when he fell on me there was a boulder unfer my leg
and it bruised me prety badly. We both got up and went
on our ways. We went back to the top. I was in a
little bit of pain. We hiked to this beautiful spring
pool and waterfall that was so cold. We then hiked to
the top of the mountain. At this point, a young girl
convinced us to take her bouroughs along the train. We
went for five kilometers then her horses could not go
any longer. The ride was so beautiful. The air was so
fresh and coll. We then hiked the rest of the way. The
hike was amazing. The trees were so beautiful and
there were pink and white and purple flowers in bloom
everywhere. Huge georges surrounded us as well as
towering cliffs like a combo of the Alps and Rockies.
We hiked many kilometers until we reached seven drago
pools. We hiked up these granite cliffs where pritine
waterfalls fell and formed seven crystal clear and
blue pools. The water was freezing cold. It was so
amazing. I can not describe to you the joy and peace
that I felt. Feeling very hungry as we had not ate, we
reached a half way point where three make shift stands
were. We had fried potatos with a very salty sauce. We
also had intresting local noodles, and a erice pattie
that resembled a fried egg. Also had a boiled egg. We
ate then bought some bottled water. We hiked on around
cliffs and circled round and round. We to some caves,
but they were very dangerous, so we went on to the
Taoist Temple at the top of the Mountain. We stopped
and rested and looked around over the entire city and
Lake. We then decided to take some Burroughs down the
Mountain. This sounded like a good idea at fies, but I
will be honest with you, it was a lot of damn wotrk.I
was really terrified that I was going to fall of. I
was holding that steel handle as hard as I could
especially when we went down the steep sections where
I was leaning back with all of my force to keep from
flying off forward. I was never happier when we
reached the bottom and hour later. At some point, Mr
who decided that he wanted to ride them some more. My
kneews hurt as well as my leg, but I agreed. We went
for wahile, the man paraded us off through town. He
was so pround that he had a white man and whom he
thought was a Korean. He thought Mr. Who was Korean as
Mr. Who does not understand a word these people say as
they speak Cantonese. It is quite intresting. We
eventually got off the horses and caught a three
whelled Taxi to our Hostel. We unloaded then headed
out the door to the three Pagodas tample. It was
really Amazing. The Pagodas are just so cool. The
light was also begining to show some rays as dark
clouds passed over wheich made an intresting
oportunity for pictures. We were there for wahile then
decided to go walk through a few of the houses and
villages. Tried to take picutures of the colble stone
against the Mountain back drop it was very beautiful.
We walked for a couple of hours then ended up in a
huge Market inthe old town and looked around for about
three hours. There were so many shops. The gates were
all light up in the night as were the street. Bought
two things then we ate Chinese Pizza for super. It was
pretty good. We looked around then made it back to the
hotel. I unladed and am now getting ready to go to
bead. Tomorrow will be a very long day. Talk to
everyone later.

Christopher

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