I must admit that this morning was not among the best ones I’ve ever had. We got up at 7 AM, I slept for like 4 hours (because I woke up at 3 AM and was texting with a friend, but then couldn’t fall asleep until 6 or so) and a loooong descend (1200 meters elevation) was ahead of us. It was the first time in a year or so that I drank coffee for breakfast, and that’s a big deal! We ate stir fried egg and tomatoes apart from the coffee and I was really craving some normal western food already. I would kill for pancakes for breakfast!!! Then we took our last selfie in front of the Snow Dragon and set off.
We were walking alongside a river the whole time, in the woods, through small valleys between mountains, crossing bridges and admiring rumbling waterfalls. The trek was very relaxed at the beginning, slowly going downhill so nothing to be exhausted from. However, there was one part where I felt really scared – we were just crossing one valley to get closer to the river and we got really close. I would say it was a reef, but the river bank was so high and the path was directly at the edge so if I took one step to the side, I would fall in the rapids that were down there and die for sure. Either by drowning or hitting my head against the stones in the river, or both 🙂
Luckily nothing happened, although my heart was beating really fast, so we talked and walked and talked and walked and were slowly coming closer to the Mekong river. Unfortunately, the descend started to be a lot steeper and my knee started to hurt.. For the first time in my life I had knee problems while hiking! This never happened to me before and because I’m writing this after couple of months, I think my knee is really injured, because every time I’m going downhill, I start to feel the pain again 🙁
By the time we reached Mekong I could barely walk. There was still one steep descend ahead of us and I thought I’m gonna die from the pain. At one point my injured knee just completely gave up and I fell on those rocks with my shin, so both legs now hurt like hell. But luckily, mini vans were waiting down there and we rushed to get one so we could return to Feilai for our stuff that we left in the hostel. We were in a huge rush, because we knew that there was a bus leaving around 2 PM to Shangri-La and no it was around 1 PM from Deqin. The driver told me that it is no problem and we should be able to make it, that he will call the bus station to wait for us, that we are on our way. And really, we quickly collected our bags, rushed to the bus station and we still had 20 more minutes to buy some snacks and drinks.
The bus ride was exhausting even on the way back. 4h to reach Shangri-La. Thankfully the bus was half empty so everyone could stretched himself. I thought my knee would recover during those 4 hours but as you can suspect, it didn’t. And still hurt like hell..
When we were approaching Shangri-La, the view that stretched out in front of us was stunning – cattle grazing in the plains and lake covered in golden rays.. Just wonderful!
We reached our hostel Tavern 47, checked in and gathered for food in the common room. I wanted something western and unhealthy, so yak burger and beer it was! OMG! And it was the best yak burger I’ve ever had (maybe because it was my first? :D) We were just eating and not saying a word, this is how you know that people are really hungry! The dinner was sooo good, beer was strong, I was tired and the combo made me so sleepy that I just couldn’t take it anymore and went to bed around 10 PM.