sneaky cheeky

so seeing as how today was our second day in dali, and dali is really a one day kinda town, j and i decided to head up for a hike into the beautiful mountains surrounding us. they’re pretty high, so there’s a cable car which can take you up for 30 yuan, but since we’re not averse to a little sweat and exercise we decided to take the “easy 2 hour path” mentioned in the guidebook. upon reaching the starting point of the path, however, there was a gate, and attendants who insisted we could not enter the mountain area without paying the 30 yuan cable car fee, whether we intended to ride it or not. this immediately go my back up, and we stormed off muttering about paying for things we didn’t want, intent on finding a way around their silly little gate. as it so happens, you can, in fact, subvert the admission rules if you don’t mind wandering a bit through a few farmer’s pastures. luckily, we didn’t mind at all, feeling quite smug in our ability to stick it to tha’ man. the amble through pastureland quickly turned into the hike from hell – 2 hours straight up, no plateaus, no stopping, do not pass go, do not collect $200. sweating our proverbial asses off, the only thing keeping us going was the promise of a nice ice cold beer at a hostel located high up the mountain, just near the temple, right off the side of the cable car. so we clambered and climbed and sweated. finally arriving at the top of the path, i was overcome with joy at the prospect of some cool sweet liquid for my parched mouth. only to be confronted by another nasty little woman who informed us we needed to pay 30 yuan to enter the temple… on the other side of which, was the promised inn.

i was damned if after climbing all the way around the gate to avoid buying a cable car ticket, after killing myself to get to the top of the bloody mountain, i was going to get roped into paying money *for something i didn’t want*. so we backtracked down the path, climbed around the whole bloomin’ temple, around the cable car… to finally arrive at the path to the inn. which was several hundred more metres straight up.

a beer never tasted so good. and in the end, we saved ourselves 120 yuan, got some really good cardio exercise, and got the views for free – along with the satisfaction of subverting the system.

3 Responses to “sneaky cheeky”

  1. DAVE
    May 4th, 2006 13:42


  2. Amity
    May 5th, 2006 09:22

    Damn girl, you drive a hard bargain! I’d hate to see you haggling at a market in Marrakesh…I admire your tenacity though, my lazy ass would’ve paid the money and gone for the beer straight away. My trip would also be a lot shorter since I’d blow all my money within 2 months. :-p

  3. daddio
    May 6th, 2006 12:17

    Holy smolly! You guys are great. Never mind the balls of steel to cross the street…the gonads to take on the whole 9 yards.

    Lots of fun catching up. You are such a damn good writer … if you don’t publish this you would be crazy.

    Funnnnnny! Quite a few not so silent chuckles.

    I know you will hate this…but except for the good writing, you are too much like me.

    You also inspired me. Going to Greece in the fall…convinced Cate to backpack! This from a woman who brought 6 dresses along on our first camping trip (all hanging neatly on a tree branch).

    Looking forward to tomorrow.
    Your Boston buddy.

  • Photos