It was the sort of busy informal restaurant where you might find the kitchen boy shampooing his hair under the tap in the back yard where the patrons sat, while another lad beheaded the chicken we had ordered and left it to reel its headless death throes on the flagstones in front of us. Victor wanted to visit Ju Jie Shan, a sacred mountain two bus-rides and a pony-cart-ride away from Dali.
He knew how to get there and we agreed to meet early next morning. I felt fully recovered from my illness. I’d never been to a sacred mountain before, and this seemed the right moment.