Drove to Shapin for Monday markets – unusual vegetables for sale; locals wearing traditional ethnic clothing with woven baskets on their backs. One persistent saleswoman trailed us all way and kept darting to other people’s stalls bringing us items to tempt.
Bought hats including embroidered cap with pigtail for BoyRob, and warrior hat with silver buddas and beads. Looked like the Bai women enjoyed the haggling game as much as we did (somehow they always won!). Delicious sweet fig roll for morning tea.
On way back explored Xizhou Bai village, and its traditional architecture. Shown through a house surrounding central courtyard, internal earth well, old man peeling camellias.
Shops below people’s apartments with metal shutters to close at end of day’s trade. Meat being hawked from trolleys.
Traditional hole in ground toilets had been beautifully tiled, and patrons without good glutes could converse side by side over low barricades!
Walked out on pier to view Erhai Lake, and along canal lined with bamboo light fittings for sale. Acres of large cut and polished ornamental rocks - most are ugly, as are local stoneware eg vases, ashtrays etc.
Dinner at Yunnan Restaurant, yak steak (good!) and eggplant and pork fried dumplings (also good!). Rained heavily but used the excuse to stand under awning to share another Belgium waffle.
On Tues BoyRob took the chairlift up the 4000+mts Cang Shan mountain for a climb and walk with views over dizzying heights and lake in distance. Passed horses carrying rocks and cargo on trails up mountain. Very picturesque with babbling brooks, rhododendrons (petals used for cooking) and pine trees.
GirlRob washed doona cover and floor mats in twin tub (so boring), and researched upcoming Wanderoos leg of China trip. In afternoon went shopping in Old Town which was crowded with busloads of tourists, and satisfactorily helped Cheryl bargain down a jade necklet. Nightfall brought its own magic to Old Town. Dinner with Jon and Jude at Jim’s Tibetan Restaurant, delicious fried goats cheese and yak steak in chilli beans. Tried home-made grape wine,15% alcohol, aftertaste of metho!!