There's work to be done here this month; it's something we've planned for a while and it's exciting to see the project take shape and come to fruition. We hope to do more, but we'll see how it goes.
As much as I'm a city girl, I don't quite like staying put amidst shopping malls, concrete buildings and cafes on vacations. I want to get out for long walks or a trek if possible. Soaking up nature makes me a very happy and agreeable imp. This trip feeds my soul.
I've always preferred to call the gorgeous region Zhongdian (中甸) instead of its romantic 20th-century new name of Shangri-La (香格里拉) alluding to James Hilton's 1933 lost land. The last two visits were for a long exhilarating eight-week trek from Lijiang to Shangri-la via Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡) and Meili and Shika Snow Mountains (梅里雪山、石卡雪山), bypassing Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山); and the second visit was for another humbling two-week trek around Zhongdian and staying in the villages. Managed to skillfully avoid all tourist traps and angst from impolite crowds, ensuring fabulous memories. :P
Although I'm also seeing breathtaking spectacular mountains on this trip, there won't be much trekking, at least not by my definition. More of... long easy walks, fewer nights of resting on groundsheets and snuggling in sleeping bags. Although Zhongdian gave us gorgeous weather on our first day in, it's rainy season now. Weather's turning. Let's see what this trip brings.
Chapter 2 of James Hilton's 'Lost Horizon' notes the picturesque mountain ranges in the story's Shangri-La,
While he was still contemplating the scene twilight fell, steeping the depths in a rich, velvet gloom that spread upwards like a dye. Then the whole range, much nearer now, paled into fresh splendor; a full moon rose, touching each peak in succession like some celestial lamplighter, until the long horizon glittered against a blue-black sky.
|On the Upper Trail of Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡).|