Crouching Lizard, Hidden Hernia – Pingyao and Beyond.

So we split up for the first time in this trip. G decided he had a hernia, and to intents and purposes it looked very much like a hernia. So off he scooted to Xi’an where a half-decent hospital awaited. The half-decent doctor informed him it was an inflamed lymph and nothing a few pills couldn’t sort out. Now this wouldn’t be such a big deal for the young hypocondriact (bad spelling I’m sure) but he missed out seriously on the wee adventure spinky and I embarked on. Taking three buses, two taxis and a sweaty hour long hike up a mountian (mostly lost) we eventually discovered the mountain village of Lijiashan. This village is unusual in the most part because everyone lives in caves. Apart from the fifty or so locals and a couple of (admittedly terrible) painters it was just us two. We stayed in a tiny courtyard guesthouse (5 quid for a night with all meals free), I taught the wife english for the evening and for the most part we just gawped at the surroundings. It was pretty incredible. The cave houses were terraced up to eight or nine levels high and sat snugly next to equally terraced fields of crops (no idea how anything grew up there it was so dry). Anyway we got back to Pingyao today and are catching the night train to Xi’an to meet lymph boy and grab a long-haul slow-train to Dun Huang. Go West as the pet shop boys (or was it someone else) sang. A special mention must go out to the chinese bloke in the bus home today who talked to me extensively about his favourite parts of the Jason Bourne franchise. At least I think that’s what he was saying.

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