We stayed at Sean's Guesthouse, which boasted a stunning location, clean rooms and excellent food. Esther liked the noodles.
The typical route for backpackers is to hike 22km from one end of the gorge to the other, stopping at various guesthouses along the way. The rents would not be able to hike this area, but we were able to go early morning horseback (and muleback) riding for a 3 hour trek up the mountain.
Our guides walked our horses the whole way, except for esther's guide, who frequently left her all alone. This was brought to our attention when we heard esther, often the last in the pack, shouting, "Hello? I'm all alone back here!".
Three random horses grazing on the trail.
We really only had one full day and were determined to make the most of it. We learned the best hike 3 hours down to Middle Tiger Leaping Rapids, the most powerful rapids in the area and also the least developed. Esther and i hired a guide and we set off after lunch. The hike down was easy and beautiful, though in some places, you can't help but wonder how many people slipped and fell to the roaring rapids 150 feet below. Probably none, what with the twig-fences and rickety little bridges and all.
Sometimes the journey is more exciting than the destination. Other times, the destination is a rock jutting out into intense Class 5 rapids, with a huge wall of water dropping 10 feet from you, deafening deep percussion, and, like 4 other tourists.
Best. Scenic. Vista. EVER!