|Dali, Yunnan, China||Week 10 29th June 2011|
| These almost bowling ball sized fruit are a mystery to us.
And we didn't see anyone eating them.
But we did later see someone drinking something out of one through a straw.
| Dali seemed to have a variety and quality of fruit which
was an improvement on previous experience.
Its an old walled city which also lies on the Tea Horse Road.
It lies between the Cashgun Mountains and Lake Er Hai.
Some of the history is a bit difficult to piece together. Apparently its been conquered a couple of times by armies coming over the mountains. Once by Kublai Khan in about 1254 AD.. Again at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty.
| But before we looked at the town we went for a cable car
ride up the mountain.
We could walk about 11km to another cable car to get down.
Don't know how it works but Susanna hailed a cab. The driver gave us prices to the nearest and furthest cable cars. We opted for the furthest. He offered us tickets. Cab and tickets to be paid for later. In case they were fake and didn't work. He gave Susanna his mobile number and dropped the return price if we used his cab.
A little trust goes a long way!
| At the top of the cable car was a giant Chinese Chess
Each piece weighs about 60kg.
| The Qingbi Stream has a little flow over the waterfall but
a strong flow out of the pool.
Beautiful clear water.
| The stream flows out of the Cagshun Grand Canyon.
Possibly the route that invading armies came through.
| The track became narrower and narrower.
Some locals on their way to cut bamboo advised that the track was almost impassable further up.
|Another stream flowing through a gorge off the mountain.|
Something I associate with the Himalayas.
Obviously we are at the right altitude. And not that far from the Himalayas to the West.
| Somewhere on the far side of the gorge is our track.
Mostly flat. Just long.
| From the cable car on the way down.
One of those ski lift contraptions that are completely open and leave the occupants with a constant feeling of falling forwards and out.
This photo was taken with only one hand on the camera!
The rectangular bit, bordered by green, contains the old city.
|And from lower as the haze cleared a bit.|
Dali belongs to the Bai people.
They like white houses.
|The center of town is nicely restored and wall to wall shops, restaurants, and guest houses.|
|As near to a main square as we found.|
|On a clear day in winter the mountains are snow capped.
Not so on our visit but pleasant nevertheless.
|Pleasant enough for another reminder.|
|There was some restoration work occurring near one of the
Stones into baskets. Baskets lifted into back of truck. Baskets emptied.
| The local furniture manufacturer just outside the walls.
The bits of tree are first cut with chainsaw to make stools.
|The North Gate from the outside.
Susanna had arranged to meet Linda, former room mate from University.
|Buying Wax Berries.
The vendor had one of those hand held scales where the weight is moved along the slide.
|Lots of tea shops.
|And shops selling batik tablecloths.
This one was hand made, not sure about the rest.
|Ali, Linda and Susanna after Linda had saved a small frog
from being stood on.
The people behind are looking for the frog.
|The river has been routed down the main street.
Its used for lots of things. Rubbish disposal and washing squid in this case.
|We went up market for our evening meal.
The restaurant was in a courtyard. An oasis.
|A CD of the local gourd flute music, and a gourd flute.
Not quite a flute in that the air isn't blown across the mouthpiece, more like a recorder. But how much more serious flute sounds.
The shopkeeper could really play it and was explaining the music sheet provided with the instrument.
|A walk along the wall after dinner.|
|Shaxi, Yunnan, China||Week 10 30th June 2011|