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  1. #1 Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
    C-Moto Guru futianshenzhen's Avatar
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    Well i've finally got round to it. This ride was my first anywhere and started a love affair with bikes and China. At the time we were all living in Yangshuo and riding our taxi bikes to the river and on some small day trips around the area when we had a collective brainwave and decided to go on a proper trip. We had no gear and even less of an idea but that's what made it! Still probably the best trip I've ever done.

    We shipped the bikes to Chengdu on the train from Guilin then headed west through Kangding and eventually Litang where we headed south and on to Zhongdian (Shangelila) then Lijiang, Dali and finally Kunming.

    here's the route...


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    On the train from Guiln to Chendu. the bikes had taken the same route a week ahead of us.

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    We arrived in Chengdu with enough time to get the bikes from the train station, find a hotel and go out and get shitefaced. We stayed in one large room in a crappy hotel and some of us were more worse the wear than others..

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    ...Bill paid the price with his eyebrow
    Last edited by futianshenzhen; 10-20-2013 at 12:40 PM.
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  2. #2 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
    C-Moto Guru futianshenzhen's Avatar
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    109_1037.jpg
    Outside the hotel in Chengdu the morning after the night before. All ready to start our adventure proper with literally no idea what was in store for us!

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    Bong on dude! West of Chengdu

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    The first problem - a leaky petrol tank on Ozzie Paul's ride


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    Somewhere near Kangding

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    As we gained altitude we stopped to add wires to the main jet in the carbs. Here I'm in watch and learn mode!
    Last edited by futianshenzhen; 10-20-2013 at 12:45 PM.
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  3. #3 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
    C-Moto Guru futianshenzhen's Avatar
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    DSC_0026.jpg
    Me exploring a pikey kitchen near the hotel on out first night.


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    Our hotel on that first night, just past kangding. We were outside drinking and causing general mischief when the coppers came up and went through all our passports. Things were looking a bit sketchy but after we told them we were humble English teachers they said good luck on your trip and even gave us their business cards with instructions to call if we experienced any difficulties.


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    Filling up with petrol

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    First high pass on day #2

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    Shortly after the previous photo was taken Nick's rain condom, which was wrapped around his handlebars after a brief shower, blew up in his face blinding him completely, but not before he saw a truck coming his way! He naturally veered to the right and ended up in a drainage ditch. Luckily the bike suffered minimal damage and his 40 quai helmet saved his noggin.
    Last edited by futianshenzhen; 10-20-2013 at 12:54 PM.
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  4. #4 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
    C-Moto Guru futianshenzhen's Avatar
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    DSC_0092.jpg
    Meeting up before a turning over a bridge. This was way way before any of us owned smartphones or had any experience with GPS. We had a crappy little map and relied on locals and short term memorisation of town names.

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    Nick's drainage ditch


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    Temple viewed from up high


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    getting some repairs to Nick's bike post crash

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    Can you smell what the rock is cooking?!!
    Last edited by futianshenzhen; 10-20-2013 at 12:59 PM.
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  5. #5 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
    C-Moto Guru futianshenzhen's Avatar
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    DSC_0098.jpg


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    First view of the big mountains

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    Nick picked up a local hitchhiker


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    I think Nick took the daughter on his bike, brother Bill chauffeured the mum!
    Last edited by futianshenzhen; 10-20-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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  6. #6 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
    C-Moto Guru futianshenzhen's Avatar
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    DSC_0114.jpg
    Plateau scene

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    After coming down from a particularly cold and windswept mountain pass we were saw a young boy by the road selling some random stuff so we stopped and asked where we could stay in the area. He said we could all stay at his family's house and we had had more than enough for the day so we all piled in having parked the bikes on the ground floor with the livestock. It was a great front room with a sofa/bed around the outside and we got stuck into some yak and butter while an uncle was sent off to fetch some beers. We had a few and Bill and Ozzie Paul were feeling the effects of the altitude a bit but nothing too serious so after a while we just spread out the bedding and slept where we were sat in the living room.

    I'm a light sleeper at the best of times and even more so above 4000 metres and I woke at dawn to see the matriarch of the family tidying up the tables, I thought nothing of it and tried to get back to sleep. Shortly afterwards everyone was up and about and we had a bit more yak then started to pack the bikes up. We'd had a lovely evening and our guard was certainly down, I'd left my CB radio on the sofa deliberately as my hands were full with gear to be bungeed onto the bike. I came back upstairs to pick up my radio and helmet and it was nowhere to be seen. The mum was tidying up the cushions and I said I'd just left the radio there and had she seen it. She deftly then rustled around a bit, produced the radio from under her clothing pretending it was under the cushion. Nice try but not good enough! I didn't make a big deal out of it and we were soon on our way. Later on it turned out that Timmy and Missy's sunglasses had been swiped from the table right under my nose! They were unsure in the morning and just assumed that they'd packed them on the bike somewhere. Of course it now made perfect sense; the random stuff the kid had been hawking on the roadside was the loot robbed from the previous passers through! Later on that day Missy had her helmet stolen from the mirror of the bike while we had noodles and quickly learned that Tibetans can be quite light fingered, or rather if it's not bolted down they'll have it away!

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    The man of the house

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    If you ever wondered how high shit can be stacked the answer lay under here!
    Last edited by futianshenzhen; 10-20-2013 at 03:25 PM.
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  7. #7 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
    C-Moto Guru futianshenzhen's Avatar
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    109_1121.jpg
    Missy with the light fingered matriarch, although I suspect the whole family were at it!

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    Messing around in the robber's lair!

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    Mountain roads - a mix of good tarmac and dirt roads

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    These Red Indian looking fellows were very taken by Paulie's tattoos
    Last edited by futianshenzhen; 10-20-2013 at 03:10 PM.
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  8. #8 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
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    DSC_0150.jpg
    My bike developed an electrical fault and a new CDI from a much larger bike was bodged on and did the trick.

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    I can see my house from here!

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    Boys at the top - photo by Missy


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    Tim and Missy nearing the summit


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    More stunning scenery
    Last edited by futianshenzhen; 10-20-2013 at 03:15 PM.
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  9. #9 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
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    DSC_0187.jpg
    More tattoo appreciation


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    This fellow was apparently drink driving and caused some deaths.


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    The punishment was a walk of shame through the town followed by god knows what.


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    An interesting array of medicine. Piles Sir? I've got just the thing!



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    We hit a blizzard coming up to this mountain pass and things all went a bit crazy. Ozzie Paul had a slide and was only saved from a 1000 metre fall and a short sharp stop by a concrete stanchion on the side of the road. My bike couldn't handle the altitude or the huge incline and the carb was flooding so I had to keep stopping, taking off my gloves and draining the excess fuel. By the time I reached the top my hands were completely frozen, I think I just had a couple of pairs of white workman's gloves on, which were obviously hopeless. At the top of the pass there was a large tent filled with some Tibetans singing KTV! Definitely not what we were expecting, but they were very kind and gave us some tea and we returned the surprise by pouring it over our frozen fingers and toes. Our mixed reception from the Tibetans continued with some guys helping us repair a puncture on Tim's bike and some others taxing some spare oil and tools that were in my crash bar compartments.
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  10. #10 Re: Chengdu - Kunming via Litang, Tiger leaping Gorge and more 
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    DSC_0200.jpg
    Fixing the puncture on Tim's bike

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    A rather surprising location for a KTV tent but we were very glad for the tea.


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    Some filthy KTV singing kids


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    Old bloke


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    Another shot of the puncture, the lesson to be learnt is never take your eyes off your bike, even for a moment....ever
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