Posts made in December, 2012

The 3 Rivers Trip

Posted by on Dec 1, 2012 in 2012 08 3 Rivers | Comments Off

Well the idea for this trip was to try to go over / by the 3 rivers (Yangze, Mekong, Nujing) and then cycle down the Nujiang valley. This issue was how to get from the Mekong to the Nujiang without having to go 300km south and having limited time. Ended up being a nice trip with some great landscape. Highly recommend this area to anyone.

Overview

Day 1
Car – Shangrilia to Deqiing – 200km

Bike – Deqing to Cizhong – 75km

A crazy drive. 30 minutes into the drive we hit the clouds which last till the top of the pass at 4350m / 3 hours. Some of the most terrifying driving i’ve ever experienced. 5m visibility, mountain slides, crashes, any many near misses. Pleased i had a ok driver but still a experience i don’t want to have too often. Cross the Yangtze and then all uphill. The new road will make the trip a lot easier and that should be open next year. Pass many cyclists on the way to Tibet and feel a bit sad foreigners on cycles are not allowed there. Maybe in a few years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Bend in the Yangze)

Get the bike out of the car in Deqing. Probably great scenery around but all the the cloud. Start cycling and a 1400m drop for 20 km and then hit the Mekong. Then Basically flat / little downhill but fighting the wind the whole way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(A green stream flowing into the red Mekong)

Arrive at Cizhong and cross the Mekong. Brown and moving very quick. Checked out the local church and check into my 30rmb a night suit. Simple dinner and getting organised for a 3 day trek over to the Nujiang valley. No internet for a few days and too slow here to upload pictures (later).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

activity_215891037

Day 2

A wet one.
Not great sleep last night with some kind of black hard shell bugs eating me. Wake up to rain and that lasted most of the day. Good breakfast of nan bread, fried chillies and coffee. Horses arrive and get them loaded up with bicycle, bags and wuqi’s (name translated: five seven) stuff and head out. Rain rain, up and up. in the clouds very quickly. Sometimes some breaks in clouds to some lovely scenery.
Started at 1800m along the Mekong and end the day at 3500m. Good to already be acclimatised. Generally a easy hike mostly along a path following the river. Sometimes in the river, sometimes across it.
Herders and foresters huts every few km.  Stop for lunch in one. Camera stops working with error message (guess got it wet). See a group of monkeys, about 20 or so of them, little ones running down the side of the mountain. Some strange little little birds with white tails, lots of mushrooms and other vegetation i have not seen before.
Arrive at the destination, a hut with a Christian cross above the entrance and inside. Thank god for the little church hut as pissing with rain outside and getting cold.
Also thanks to those clever designers who make computers with long batteries, camping stoves which boil water in 3 minutes and tell you when done, sleeping mats that convert into comfortable chairs and all the other mod camping cons. No thanks to the leaches, one of which Wuqi pulled off my head with blood spurting (well minimal) on my nice white shirt (stinks). Wuqi off to drink baiju with the local guys in the next door hut and i’m going to savour a bag of instant food which heats itself up. Off tomorrow to cross the snow peak at 4300m and then hopefully make our way down. Numb wet feet.
activity_215891007 (Day 2 & 3 trek route)
Day 3

Hut to Bilong??? to Gongshan
Very little sleep due to monkeys eating the horse food and attacking my tent every 10 minutes. Attacking is overstatement. Should have brought container for the food or kept it away. Get out of tent and spend next ten minutes picking leaches out of my shoes. Warm oaks for breakfast, pack up and set out again.
Long uphill and still tired from yesterday. Very slippery stone near the top and really can hardly see anything.
Make it over the 1st pass at 4200 and bump into the the Hong Kong Ladies Hiking Assocication comprimizing a group of very well apointed ladies in full kit, loads of pack horses and porta potties. Not really expecting that.
Then down hill to a nice valley.
Then up again to 4000m.
Then down all the way to 1800m. A long down hill and bloody slidey mud track. Nearly fell over every 5 minutes. Surprised i did not.
Arrived at the end of the trek. Unpacked and realised that i had lost a bolt to hold my wheel on. None in the local village so had to throw bike in a taxi but stopped by a landslide in 5 minutes. Walk over the landslide and get in another taxi. Arrive Gongshan late and bloody tired. Ah a hot shower.

Day 4
Gongshan to Fugong
Spent most of the morning looking for some screws to keep my front wheel on. Luckly found some and DIY’d. Felt better from a good nights sleep but legs very tired from the hike.
Left Gongshan and next 2 days cycling along the Nuijiang river. The river is running at around 1300m with hills either side of it towering up to 5000m. Very impressive scenery.
Lunch on the side of the road cooked in my little stove. Really nice to be able to eat lunch with a good view and now some grimy little hole in the wall.
Road is up down up down, down. More tiring than expected. Arrive around 6pm in Fugong. Grab some dinner and crash out in front of a film.
Day 5
Fugong to Liuku
Much the same as day before. Have not seen any cyclists or tourists. More up down up down down. Pass the main road into Burma. Lots of illegal trees / logs being brought in.
Fall off my bike trying to photograph them, luckily going slowly.Another nice roadside lunch and then get into Liuku to a nice modern hotel and have local street food. Liuku seems to be quite developed for a place in the middle of no where and the main entry point to the Nujiang.
—-
Day 6
Luku to whateveritscalled to Dali
Tired of the river so decided a hope through the hills.
Started of easy enough but then went up and up. From 800 to 2600m. That built an appetite for lunch and anther appreciated roadside cook up. Passed whats probably the most polluting bit of micro industry i have every seen. one small factory polluting the entire valley. Nice, not.
Interesting to see all the water run off, streams and then it all turning into the Nujiang. Heard when i got back that burma was have serious floods caused the by nujiang down stream.
Road i took highly recommend for some nice road cycling. very few cars / trucks and some nice views. After 60km or so hit the main road and traffic picks up but all downhill. Arrive at some small town near the highway, tired and decided to get a taxi to Dali. Rather scary taxi ride with a huge rain, could hardly see.
Arrive Dali late and went for a pizza and bottle of wine. Next morning packed up the bike and headed out to visit the old out. Well this is the crazy tourist old town. completely packed with people and all sorts of rubbish bejing sold they sell in all old towns here. Its a shame as probably was once really nice. Next morning flight out of town.
All in all a good trip and for sure will be back to this area for more cycling and trekking. Think probably most beautif / untouched place i have been in China.
—-
Notes on gear / trek trip
Rains a lot and hard. Waterproofs must. Waterproof boots a must. Even then you will get wet due to boggy ground. Change of foot wear for night would have been nice. Bring own food or something and dought guides have much food of interest.
Weather can change quick. be prepared. known to snow even in mid summer up in the hills. Bring set of warm clothes, sleeping bag etc.
Autumn is time to go as less rain but cooler at night / possible snow.
Ill go again in April / May, still snow, to see the azaleas in bloom.
Bring water filter.
Go with some people if you can.
Read More