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Day 76: Shigu to the Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China 
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The Tiger Leaping Gorge trek. Behind me, Li Yuan, who we christened Mr. Nice Man on account of his ineffable patience, leads the donkeys, keeps an eye on me and carries the sound boom.
Michael Palin - HimalayaIt's dark by the time we reach Bendi Wan village and an overnight stop at a place called The Halfway House, run by the redoubtable Mr Feng De Fang. I've felt rather Hobbit-like for the past hour, as the scenery increasingly grew to resemble a Lord of the Rings backdrop, and the feeling that I might have morphed into Frodo Baggins is only increased as we pull the doorbell in the dim, lantern-lit entrance and are shown into a stone-flagged courtyard hung with gourds, pumpkins and stacks of drying corncobs.

Mr Feng is a slim to cadaverous young man, quietly busying round and making sure we have a warm fire to sit beside, and from his dark barn of a kitchen he and his wife produce an excellent meal of pork and fresh-picked wild mushrooms.

There's a small, very hot shower down below and the rooms are like those in an old Alpine chalet cosy, cool and with very thin walls.

Kept awake by a noisy game of Chinese chequers on the balcony below, I bundle myself up in the duvet and tot up the day's work. A 12-mile walk, a 2500-foot climb and, apart from the quivering grey things, two of the best meals since we started out all those months ago.
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  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 76: Shigu to the Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Country/sea: China
  • Place: Bendi Wan
  • Book page no: 180

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