New Adventure Plans

Morning in Laos

Morning in Laos

Claire has been getting bored with same old same old exotic Laos, so now we’re headed off on a backroads, dirt roads, “shortcut” to the Vietnam border. We’re looking for a branch of the old Ho Che Minh Trail. That was just the thing to get her excited. It has something to do with her being born in Vietnam, and going back. We’ll be in Laos still, but will be asking directions (sound familiar) and using the compass to make decisions. It could be easy. We’ll see.

We’ve enjoyed the last few days following the Mekong south, and seeing the landscape and people change slowly.

Pineapple Breakfast Prepared By this find Lady

Pineapple Breakfast Prepared By this fine Lady

Couple Running Their Nets

Couple Running Their Nets In A Backwater Of The Mekong

The Broom Lady Begins Her Rounds

The Broom Lady Begins Her Rounds

She pours out the eggs, scrambles them, pours them back in the shell and then steams them. A lot of work for a hard boiled egg.

She pours out the eggs, scrambles them, pours them back in the shell and then steams them. A lot of work for a hard boiled egg.

Zippy Draws A Crowd

This interesting thing about this is there were twice as many people before I took out the camera to video. Chinese do not like to be photographed as a part of a crowd, and yet they always like to be a part of a crowd. I wonder if it has to do with how much they are under surveillance, or think they are?

Shangri-la Backroads

Misty Morning in Shangri-la (Claire)

Misty Morning in Shangri-la (Claire)

We took the recommendation of Bill Weir and Alice and Andoni, cyclists we’d met way back in Almaty in 2005, and took a back road rather than Highway 214 to Tiger Leaping Gorge. We had at least one climb each day, one day we had three climbs totaling about 18 kilometers. The road is now paved except for washouts and we had very light traffic and beautiful views. Villages along the way were full of hard-working but friendly people eager to say “Hello!”. Coming the backway into Tiger Leaping Gorge was more fun because we didn’t feel so much a part of the tourist hordes. The big rock slide blocked vehicle traffic so we had the gorge to ourselves for most of the morning.

Shangri-la Vista

Shangri-la Vista

Clothsline in Shangri-la

Clothsline in Shangri-la

Plowing with Oxen

Plowing with Oxen

Fall Colors in the Mountains of Shangri-la

Fall Colors in the Mountains of Shangri-la

Nearing Another Pass With Moss Covered Trees

Nearing Another Pass With Moss Covered Trees

Shangri-la Flower

Chinese carrying burden of plants for animalsshangri-la flower

Travertine Pools of Bai Shui Tai

Travertine Pools of Bai Shui Tai

The main reason we went the longer, back way to Lijiang was that I (Claire) wanted to see the travertine terraces at Bai Shui Tai. Unlike at Havasupai, these terraces are perched on a hillside, rather than in a canyon.

Flower in Shangri-la

Flower in Shangri-la

Dahlias grow everywhere.

Carved Headstones

Carved Headstones

Village in Shangri-la

Village in Shangri-la

The expansive valleys on this route were stunning; deep enough that we couldn’t see all the way to the bottom.

Mountains of Shangri-la

Mountains of Shangri-la

Chili Harvest

Chili Harvest

View from our $4.20 room

View from our $4.20 room

Lunch Time in a Shangri-la Field

Lunch Time in a Shangri-la Field

All Dressed Up

All Dressed Up

Hava Snow Mountain

Haba Snow Mountain

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge

After the rain in Tiger Leaping Gorge

After the rain in Tiger Leaping Gorge