Tuesday 27 May 2014

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Initially reluctant to follow the beaten tourist track to this landmark, we were all taken by the spectacle. Here the Yangtse River leaves a farming valley to roar through this deep, narrow gorge for about 20 km. We met travellers from the USA, UK, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland (complete with lederhosen), and many from far off in China. They all come to walk the gorge trail, hanging more than 1000m above the river. The drive in had me questioning whether this was a good idea. While there are some safety bollards the road builders must have thought visitors needed to test their nerve by car before they ventured up there on foot.

On Saturday morning we looked up the cliffs and wondered how those power lines had been put there, up where only goats graze. Then we started up a goat track (literally, just following the droppings), until we reached those impossible lines. There a walking track had been blasted along a contour at about 2450m. I know this because your modern walker can’t leave home without weighing himself down with a GPS, IPad, smart phone, Cyclometer, Altimeter, and Delormé InReach. Ian will add more later on the landform and minerals. JM

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