Shangri-la calling! But first, there was a little bit of Dali that was yet to be experienced. We drove up to a beautiful lake. There was a walkway around it lined with street vendors selling everything from fried fish to dried fruits. After a quick photo session and sampling of the local dried fruit and nuts, it was time to head out.

We navigated the smooth Chinese highways for a while until we began to climb and had to bid goodbye to the plains. The temperatures dropped as we drove higher and higher till it seemed like we could almost touch the clouds. Snow capped mountains played peek a boo in the distance. So close, yet oh so far..

By the time we reached we were al l tired and the altitude was taking a toll on us! The rain put a damper on the evening and none of us wanted to venture far in search of food. Luckily I had spotted a Chinese Western Restaurant just two buildings away from the hotel. I excitedly walked up the stairs to check the place out and as soon as I walked through the curtain in the entryway, I felt like an alien. As i stood there trying yo figure out how to communicate, I realised that language is so important. They could have easily laughed at me as I left in defeat but instead, they tried so hard to understand me and when they couldn’t, they profusely apologized for not being able to help. This took me by surprise. The warmth that radiated from these people was enough to thaw the icy chill in the air. Just as I prepared myself for another meal of cup noodles, Deji came to the rescue. We ended up eating a hearty chicken pizza dinner. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.