Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Whitewater River, Blue Moon Valley

Our next stop after returning our coats was the Blue Moon Valley.  The valley was formed by the melting snow that runs off of the mountains, and the Whitewater River runs through it.  Along the way the river pools into four lakes: the Tingtao, Lanue, Jingtian, and Yue Lakes. 

We had a couple of hours to walk around here; one nice thing about being on the tour is that I wouldn't have thought to come here, but the views of the mountain from the valley below were some of the best pictures I took of it.  And the lakes were incredible colors--the first I walked by was a brilliant turquoise, and the next a bright sea green.  Along the way there were two different sets of waterfalls and picture-taking points (they had, of course, tourist-trap-ified it as much as possible, as is the Chinese taste).  The waterfalls were pretty, but after a closer inspection we came to the conclusion that they were probably fake.  The rocks were just a little too perfectly placed, and didn't quite match the rocks around the sides of the lakes.  However, they were at least pretty, and the brilliant color of the lakes and the mountain rising above certainly weren't fake. 

Looking up at the mountain from here, we were even able to pick out exactly where we'd been, up by the highest peak, comparing its shape to pictures we had taken while up there. 

After we left the valley, we loaded back up and headed back into town.  The tour was scheduled to continue through the Black Dragon Pond Park on the edge of Lijiang, but as I'd already been there the day before, I made a short cut through the edge of the park and headed back into town.  I found a sunny bench to rest for a while and work on blog posts, and then finally headed off the dinner. 


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