Day 36: August 27th
Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest gorges in the world. Bill and I had this on our radars a number of years ago and we were excited that we were finally doing it. The hike itself is a 23 km long hike through the Gorge and is known for its stunning scenery. The best way to do the hike is to do it over two days…and stay overnight in one of the few guesthouses along the way.
We left Mama Naxi’s at 8 am… Apart from Oli, Will and Soriya, we also had Emily(American), Asaf(Israeli), and Pao and Maite (Spanish couple). All of us were on the same schedule and so we decided to do it together.
Turned out to be the best idea ever! The group gelled like magic… Everyone got along brilliantly..and most importantly, we managed to stay together the entire time.
Two hours into the hike, we stopped for lunch at Naxi’s guest house. It was a mildly strenuous uphill climb up to this point. We were told the toughest bit was the next two hours after lunch…and boy, were they right! The maps showed that there were 28 steep bends…I lost count of the number of bends at two…but they were certainly steep! For the next two hours, all nine of us huffed and puffed our way up the hill! We knew it was mostly downhill from the top…so all we had to was to just keep going!
Meanwhile, the views have been consistently mind blowing! The Yangtze River was flowing way below us through the gorge….surrounded by really high rugged mountains with no vegetation… They provided a stark contrast to the blue skies! Just stunning!
We were exhausted by the time we rolled into the halfway guest house at 7:30pm. Quick showers later, we had a lovely meal followed by relaxing on a balcony right on top of the guest house. I know I’m repeating myself but the views from there were amazing. I don’t think pictures can do justice to the gorge!
Next up, waking up early to watch the sun rise from behind the mountains. Since the mountains are so high, the sun only comes up from behind them at 7:30am. Time for a well deserved rest!