Yunnan is a beautiful province but as for its "Eternal Springtime" motto, that may be true eleven months of the year but NOT in January.  I stayed in the village of Xizhou, about 25 miles outside of the old town of Dali at the Linden Center, run by an American couple and voted the best hotel in China out of about 40,000.  It has been renovated out of three courtyards in an authentic village and was beautiful.  It would have been perfect if it had had CENTRAL HEATING!!!  Every week there is one night of teaching schoolgirls and I just happened to be in town to give them guidance.  They are filling out applications for Rawhide.  (No, not really.)  The only problem was my lungs were used to Soi Cowboy air and the purity of the air in Yunnan was a bit strange at first.  It took time to get used to. 

The bridge in the top row of pictures is about a five minute walk from the Center.  There is also a nearby beautiful blue lake where you can watch Cormorant fishing.  I have figured out that if each person reading this buys six of each of my titles I will have enough to go back for a few days.  Thanks in advance! 

The Lindens are thinking of writing a book about the rich history of the place: The Centre's previous owners, the romance involved with the Flying Tigers, Yale-in-China, and the drug trade all make Xizhou a rich source of special stories.   Tied in with the challenges of restoration, relationships with the government, and the local villagers.  Now that should be an interesting book.

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