Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mountain Adventures

Seems like no matter how much I say I'm going to post again here within two or three days of the last post, it just doesn't happen. Ehh, I'm back now, with lots of pictures today :) So on our first full day in Guilin, we went up into the mountains (if Shanghai was the Shiny New China stop, then Guilin was the Beautiful Nature China stop). The day started out a little rainy:

It took about 2 or 2 1/2 hours (in theory) to get to where we were going, so this photo was taken when we stopped to get gas and stretch our legs. It was across the street from some rice fields:

Pretty cool picture, huh? So we got back on the van to continue our trip and then we saw...

Water buffalo. There was actually a big group of them but it's kinda hard to get a good picture through a windshield or window when the van is still moving.

My new friend was in the van when William and our driver picked us up. Bennet and Lee tossed her up to me from the way back (growing up, that's what Adam and I always called the area behind the back seat when it wasn't a trunk, there's the back and then they "way back") and she became my new friend. Not well-versed enough in Sanrio characters to know who she is though.

Obviously taken from the moving van :) So we're truckin' along (vanning along?) when we suddenly have to stop short for--of all things--a rockslide. No kidding!

That's William, our guide, on the right. We were stuck here for I don't know, almost an hour? It wasn't a ginormous rockslide, but enough that it wouldn't have been safe to drive by that area at the moment.

We did see one HUGE rock come crashing down. It was kind of fun to watch it fall. Bennet took a short video on his camera (sorry it's sideways). We didn't catch the big rock on its way down, but you'll see a little bit of the mountain slide on down. I've never posted a video before so here's hoping this works:

Well, kind of. I tried. I could see it better when the screen was bigger, but oh well. So anyway, we finally got back on our way and arrived here:

We had to get out of our van and take a 30-minute bus ride up the mountain a bit. Unfortunately our bus driver had a DEATH WISH, we were ready to kiss the ground when we got off the bus just because we were happy to still be alive. I have some pictures of the road when we rode back down (we were hanging on for dear life on the way up, no one was going to get out the camera on THAT bus ride) and you'll see why this one could rival most roller coasters for scaring the pants off you. Anyway, here's us after the bus tumped us all off (thankfully still in one piece):

Think I'll see if Lee can edit out the power line that looks like it's growing out of his head. Anyway, the bus took us up the mountain as far as it could go, and then we had to climb...

Stairs. Hundreds of stairs. Grumble grumble. But we walked through a neat-looking little town:

But can you imagine getting your groceries up there? Plus there's no telling how long it takes to get to the nearest supermarket ;)

So after climbing up zillions of stairs, we stopped for lunch at the Ping'An Guest House.

We had the obligatory rice, cabbage soup, bamboo and eggs, peanut chicken (Bennet and Missy hollered at me for picking out all the peanuts because it was sitting next to me, then they stole it and picked out more peanuts), duck and long beans, and water buffalo with green peppers. Bennet ate most of the water buffalo.

This was probably some of the best food we had on our trip (other than Rosemary's). So maybe the best *Chinese* food since we didn't eat Chinese food at Rosemary's. They brought out one last thing for us to try:

This is bamboo rice, so they put rice inside a piece of hollow bamboo and then smoke it I think. Lee gave it a try and didn't like it too much so I decided to give it a miss :)

After lunch, Missy and I gave the squatty potties a try for the first time (and, it turns out, my ONLY time). Those of you who are girls will appreciate how hard it is to squat and pee *without* getting it on your clothes (boys really don't understand the physics of that statement, but it's true. It involves hand rails, contortions, and a fair amount of praying). I was incredibly relieved to discover that I did not wet my pants, but had no desire to repeat the experiment. Ever. I did praise the Lord out loud for helping me through that one.

Next time I'll have more pictures from the top of the mountain, so of course we had to climb more stairs to get there. ;) TTFN!


CCsMom said...

Well, you ARE wearing walking shoes -- so why didn't you think that fact would be taken advantage of? LOVE the rice paddie picture. Wow, wish I could've been there. I have seen some neat things in my life, so I can't complain. And maybe next year, it will be EUROPE?!!! Love you mucho and great talking to you tonight. I've missed you more than usual lately -- maybe because you were on vacation and then WE went on vacation?!

Missy said...

Stupid Squatty Potties - and we thought the stairs up to the rice terraces were long....until we got to the GW..... ;) I just wanted to make it easier for you to climb the stairs at the house here in Oki-Land :) HEHE!