Sunday, September 18, 2011

Halfway Point in Imagine Tours China Biking Trip

It's been a whirlwind trip, day after day packed with adventures!
I have just hit the halfway point in the 20-day trip. Tomorrow, our group leaves for Tibet. We leave our hotel at 3:30 a.m. to get to the airport for an early flight. I am excited - and very tired, too. We have a quick overnight in Chengdu, one of the larger and wealthier cities in China.
So far, Dali has been a favorite city. And after that, we went to Lijiang and ShangriLa. Here are a few photos to share! Also. my story on bicycling in China appeared in the my monthly bike column, Spin City. Here's a link to the story online.

Karen Kefauver Spin City Learning the Rules of the Road in China ...
Dali, China I survived my first bicycle ride in China. I felt like a little kid on training wheels -- scared, uncertain and thrilled, too.

Adventures in Dining

Tiger Leaping Gorge

We cycled to the famous Stone Drum Town along a beautiful river (round trip 20 km), known here as the Jinsha River. Then we continued to cycle about 40 km to Tiger Leaping Gorge. Here we admired the majestic snow capped peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Mountain above us. We hiked to the Gorge (round trip about 5 km). We spent the night at Yi Xiang Hotel in the town of Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Karen at Tiger Leaping Gorge, the world's deepest gorge

Bai Village Outside Dali

We cycled out of Dali city through the rolling and beautiful countryside, experiencing the local rural life as we pedaled through several Naxi and Yi minority villages on our way to Lijiang. We had a picnic on the road and in the late afternoon transfered by bus to Lijiang. This UNESCO World Heritage site of ageless charm is home to the Naxi, an ancient matriarchal society descended from Tibetan nomads.

We visited a colorful market in a Bai village.

We cycled past this Naxi woman who represents an ancient matriarchal society descended from Tibetan nomads.