Yup I'm cursed (and I am still melting)
26.07.2008 - 30.07.2008 38 °C
Well we got the KCR to the chinese border and it was manic, it seemed like thousands of people were heading to Shenzhen. Thankfully we could go through the foreigners line and there weren't that many off us so it didn't take that long to get into the country. It did however take a long time to buy a bus ticket. We seemed to go round in circles a lot, but eventually one was obtained and we had to be back at 4.30 to be taken to the bus. We had eventually bought the ticket at a shop having never found the bus ticket office. At 4.30 we were met and taken to another shop then followed a man to a car park and up some stairs and into a taxi. I must confess I was a tad sceptical at this point. Where exactly were we going?? Well it turns out that the bus we wanted went from another bus station and the taxi dropped us off there. The bus was really clean (we had to take our shoes off before getting on) and the seats were beds. yipee I thought 14 hours opn a bus and I may just sleep.
I even got talking to Annie a girl from Beijing who made sure we knew what was going on. But at about midnight either we hit something or something was thrown at us and the window near my feet started cracking (Brenda thought it had been raining). We stopped several times and they tapped it up, but we kept going. At about 4am the glass gave way and fell on me. Great. I had no where to go as all the seats were full so hid under the very thick blanket we were given. Eventually someone got off and I could move. Thankfully the shatterproof glass did its job and despite all the glass no cuts. Welcome to China!!!
We arrived in Yangshou and went to the culture house run by Mr Wei.
This is the view from our room
He could book anything you wanted and I even had a chinese lesson (although no one understands me at all). Yangshou is surrounded by limestone karsts which are stunning. We wandered round town and the following day ventured out on bikes into the country side.
Through the rice fields
to Dragon Bridge. A bridge built over the dragon river (Yulong) in 1412. Not sure what I was expecting but here we are on it
and the bridge itself
We then decided to be lazy and get a bamboo raft part of the way back to town. The punting man had followed us for ages on the bikes showing us the way (we'd have got lost without him as the map we had didn't show the paths) so we went with him
Its just like punting only on bamboo and they rotate the puntpole. Here are some pictures of the route
Only difference was we got to sit under an umbrella and we had the bikes on the back. oh and there were some rapids to go down
As well as forming the limestone Karsts there are some pretty spectacular caves too. We visited the water cave and walked through 3km of cave. It was the first time I haven't melted in 10 days so it was lovely. There were mud pools you could float it and there were swimming pools and a waterfall. All very nice, and the tour guide was funny. He was saving up to go to spain because he had seen a tv program where all the girls swim naked and he wanted to see it!
THere was also a hill with a hole in it which they called moon hill. We were too hot and time was running out to climb it but heres a picture
Foods been getting better. In the Culture house we got dinner every night and so tried lots of things (stunning photo of me!!)
But we have had some good meals were you put the veg and meat you want on a plate and they cook it up for you. Who knows what meat it was but it was pretty good.
anyway this morning we risked the bus again (paid twice what we were meant to) but we have made it the 78km north to Guilin.
I'm still hot so cooled off in the river.
Off to some hills tomorrow then we get the train north on Sunday (tried to use my chinese to buy a ticket but failed and they called over someone who spoke english, hopefully I'll be understood one day)
Hope you are all well and getting ready for the olympics (we have met 4 couples going to the olympics all have hockey tickets - I guess the Chinese don't like hockey) its mad overhere and I think one channel is dedicated to the olympics and we still have 8 days to go.