Tuesday, 16 August 2016


3000 metres up. Effective oxygen 14%; important to control your breathing here. Not quite Tibet; as close as I can go, travelling alone. The largest prayer wheel in the world. I don't approve of superstition... Seems to keep the locals happy though, and tourists flocking in. Harmless enough, I s'pose.




Sunday, 14 August 2016

Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shangri-La

Time to move on. A bus to Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world's great sights; photos can't do it justice, but I took some anyway. A word of caution: having taken thirty minutes getting down, I scornfully refused the easier path back up... To cut a gruesome tale short, I entered Tina's Guesthouse on a horse, exhausted and my wallet light. Still, at least I made the bus to Shangri-La.


Saturday, 13 August 2016

Too big

Trekking at Lashi Lake; the Ancient Tea and Horse road/trail. Wonder the poor brute coped (I weigh in at a 100 kilos plus). Whickered as I approached, greeted my mounting with a ripping fart. There is a thrill to mountain paths, 2 metres wide, 300 metre drop with just a pony's hoof between your life and death.
The lake itself, where I had booked a kayak. One look at me, and a headshake: 'Too big, you'll sink.' Instead I got the VIP: a gondolier.


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Larkin around

Leaving behind Odyssean indulgence... BoneyOCoonassa, Guardian comments scribe, quoted a Larkin. Had to reply:

Larkin's original (How to win the next election)

Prison for strikers,
Bring back the cat,
Kick out the niggers,
How about that?

Trade with the Empire,
Ban the obscene,
Hang all the commies,
God save the Queen!

My reply (same title)

Prison for fatcats,
they're taking the piss,
Kick out the rentiers.
How about this?

Trade with whoever,
the economy's planned.
Hang out the red flag
in this pleasant land.

Monday, 8 August 2016


Ten minute walk to Shuhe Ancient Town. Dinner of fish, exquisite fiery down. Buoyed up by spice and 白酒 , faerieland.


Saturday, 6 August 2016


Rain. Time to say 再见 to Dali. Train. Valleys in mist. 你好 Lijiang, you're cool! Four hundred metres further up; a coat at night. My inn's in rural silence, broken by owls.