At the end of our disastrous bike trip through Yunnan (read more about it here), Katie and I had one last day to spend around Dali's old town. We decided to rent a bike and pedal around nearby Erhai (洱海) Lake. Shaped like an ear (“Erhai” means “ear-shaped sea”) and at 1,972 meters (6,470 feet) above sea level, the lake is the second-largest highland lake in all of China.
After seeing the Genghis Khan Mausoleum, I left Inner Mongolia for Ninxia Hui, a small autonomous region in north-central China. My first stop was Yinchuan, Ninxia Hui's small capital, with a population of 800,000. Being a Chinese city, everything there seemed interesting to me, from a lake on the city's northwest side, to a smallish mosque, to a pedestrian shopping street. Here are a few photos from my stroll through Yinchuan:
The Summer Palace undoubtedly is one of Beijing's highlights. It has nearly 900 years of history, during which many emperors have used the park and its fabulous pagodas as a summer retreat.
At seventeen kilometers, the last section of the Overland Track was one of the longest. It was also one of the easiest sections because it was flat, hugging the shore of Lake Saint Clair. That was a good thing: my right shin was swollen, and the pain had been mounting over the last few days. I figured I had shin splints, the result of carrying a forty-pound backpack that was missing its frame. (My backpack's frame had broken during the flight to Australia.) It was time for me to finish the trek and give my leg some much-needed rest.