Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dali and the stupid horse

Arrived at Dali train station at about 8.30am. Lots of people getting off but we were the only foreigners. Caught a 'public' bus which was chartered by us to take us to the old part of Dali. Arrived at the MCA backpackers about 9.30am. Very average. Rooms not available so left bags in the lobby and we went for a walk into the fortified walled old Dali. We were aiming to go to the Three Pagaoda's but the markets were too interesting. Fairly sure I got ripped off. Caught a tuk tuk like motor bike back to the backpackers.

The afternoon was a horse ride to the Zhonghe temple. The ponies were small, maybe 12hh and I felt sorry for mine right from the beginning. As we got to the foot of the hill, mine stumbled into a drain and rolled itself and me down the hill. The guides weren't worried about the horse but worried that I got back on the horse as soon as possible and with three men pushing me back on (literally) we were on our way again. I got back on but bruised and sore particularly my left calf and left shoulder and right inner thigh. It was a long way up and I thought my horse was going to have a heart attack but most of the horses looked like they were going to have a heart attack. It was 1 1/2 hours up and then we walked around at the top for about an hour then back down again but on a gentler track this time. I was actually led down by a guide. My bottom was sore at the end of the ride. Back to the backpackers for a hot shower and then off for dinner at the Tibet Cafe with Eric (our leader) where I had sweet and sour pork with rice. Horse ride 180 Yuan.