Fiona MacCarthy

China Part 6 Yangshau

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From the 3 Gorges Dam on the Sunday at the start of our last week, it was a 15 hour train journey by soft sleeper (compartments of 4 with a door and the same quality mattress) followed by a 3 and half hour bus journey arriving in this scenic delight.

Limestone karsts adorn in a scattered way the rice field filled landscape.

We had this day at leisure and the town was clearly tourist oriented.

The first full day – it rained – regrettable but only the 2nd day of misbehaing weather- I skipped the planned boat trip and took a wander. A delight was a noodle lunch on a corner near the hotel for 10Y or about £1.20. In customary style I approached smiling, selected my noodles and indicated what ingredients I would like (basically everything) and then sat to watch and await my meal.

That evening we enjoyed a traditional shared meal in a VERY tourist area of town. The streets of this section were packed with tourists walking, stopping to eat, shop and then walk. Whilst at an outdoor German themed bar, a group of about 24 policemen with riot shields and gear in 2 columns walked by. It was an exceptional display of force that we had not seen before and explained as being a deterrent.

The next fully day was far better weather wise and I enjoyed our 10km /10 mile? cycle through the rice fields followed by lunch.

In the afternoon we had a tea picking tour where we were given half an hour to pick tea and its such a slow process in the heat of the day to gather any quantity and afterwards we dried and rolled and cool-aired the leaves (repeating process) till we had something on the way to drinkable Green tea. Taking the tea back down the hill / mountain where the planation was to a more humid lower level could not have given us any drinkable tea. A dry non humid climate required and our efforts were sadly not ready enough to drink the following morning.

Afterwards we went to enjoy the great scenery climbing (via steps ) one of the karsts. I took several pictures atop a drive by area and a climbing area. The latter was said to have been discovered a few years ago following which the path that zig zagged up the karst was built. The views were amazing.

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