2009/02/21: Yi Inn 60 km
We pedalled west from ChuXiong on a not-so pleasant road, and turned north into the mountains again. Signs announced we were entering the Li people’s Minglou Amorous Feelings Vale. We stopped at the Edible Wild Herbs Restaurant, pushing our bikes up steep tracks into a small village looking for a late lunch. Tea and sunflower seeds arrived, and we sat by a pleasant courtyard. Eventually, when they realized we wanted a full meal, the rooster proposed as main course was brought out for inspection.
We gave our assent, but we hadn’t realized that the bird would return in the stew pot with his feet and cockscombed head still intact. Perhaps this was our chance for revenge on all roosters who have woken us up earlier than needed.
Dusk was only an hour way, so we stopped at the Yi Inn a little further along, a log building reminiscent of an Alpine Club hut. We felt the room price reflected character more than function. The Li, some of whom were still trading in slaves in the 1950s, must be good business people.
2009/02/22: Yi Jiu 111 km
We were at 2,200 m, and in the morning, the temperature was near freezing. Breakfast was cooked over an open fire in the middle of a room, with the smoke leaving through a raised section of roof.
Breakfast was served outside, despite the chill. We left at 9 am and enjoyed riding with a stiff tail wind on a magnificently engineered modern mountain road. After a long day, we found simple lodgings over a motorbike repair place.