We are just at the end of a relaxing few days in Yangshou where we have had a home-stay with a Chinese family who have made us feel very welcome. We’ve even learnt a bit more Chinese and helped out cooking our evening meal which was a very amusing experience with much hilarity caused by our inital ineptitude and the novelty of having a man in the kitchen.
Yangshou itself is set in magnificent limestone karst scenery, it’s quite a sight to see these gigantic near-vertical rocks sprouting from the ground all around you. We spent a day cycling around the the foothills of the karsts on little tracks weaving their way around rice paddy fields where the farmers were planting rice and ploughing the paddy fields with water buffalo. We even managed to climb a karst with a large hole at the top called Moon Hill which was an achievement more for running the hawker gauntlet at the bottom than for climbing the 1000 or so steps to the top. Later in the day the heavens opened which coincided with us having just set out on a clay track and the clay clogged up the wheels on out bikes so we had to carry them back to the road and pull the clay off with our hands and then cycle through lots of puddles to get the bikes clean again, with the side effect of making us even muddier – we arrived back plastered in the stuff!
Other than that we’ve spent a few days chilling out, a little more than intended actually as a day of rain yesterday prevented us from embarking on another bike ride and boat trip down the river.
We’re now feeling that our batteries have had a bit of a quick charge and that we’ve renewed impetus for tackling Vietnam where, all things being well, we should be arriving on Saturday.
I’m afraid the pictures are still not fixed, we’re still working on getting them back, in the meantime you can still view all the latest pictures on our flickr sites – click on the links to the right. Viv has uploaded a few and I have uploaded lots, with even more to come!
And finally congratulations to Dan and Fran on their recent engagement.