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Weekend around Gutianshan

sunny 22 °C

After a light breakfast, we head out to the Wuyuan tourist village area. We are travelling mainly on local roads and the curves, bumps, braking and swaying all add up to me being sick. All motion sickness, honest injun. Feel much better straight away and as soon as we are off again with me in the front seat the road straightens, but too late for me.
We arrive at the village and have a nature break, and the state of the toilets is breathtaking. Inside the village there is nothing but trinket shops lining the main laneway, which is about 1.2 metres wide. The shops have stuff along two or three limited lines. If you want bracelets, fans, combs, necklaces, compacts, weapons, carvings, tea and stonework you are in luck. We have a quick look around before lunch. Lunch is in a little restaurant just off the main drag, and we have pleasant food not unlike we are getting at most meals.
We head out to the actual village. There are a number in the Wuyuan area. There is a long walk through rustic fields draped with electricity lines to the village. We head past the village dam and into the village proper. There are some buildings that look just the same as most we have seen throughout China, but also some older places. These have not been renovated or lived in for a while which adds to their atmosphere. We wander around looking at the houses, photographing the people and each other.
J in Wuyuan

J in Wuyuan

Courtyard

Courtyard

LH in Wuyuan

LH in Wuyuan

P at Wuyuan

P at Wuyuan

It is pleasant but there are new modern houses being built right amongst the old ones which seems odd as they try to encourage tourists. There are some early wooden houses, then some more elaborate stone buildings too. It is a very pleasant interlude, but it is time to risk the shopping lanes again. With all the little stores selling tat, if you show interest at one, you get hassled at every stall to buy more of the same. I did come out with a few purchases, but not nearly as much as L who came back with a sword and a massive jewellery box – he will be in the good books. Stuff here is cheap, even at their first price, which can then be bargained down, but I keep thinking how much stuff we have at home, why get more just because it is a bargain?
So we head back to Gutianshan and the hotel in time for a wash up before dinner. The bus trip back is decidedly easier than coming out in the morning...
Sunday is a free day and we start off after breakfast up to the Observation tower, Dr Pei tells us he can get up in 30 minutes. We start off and it is quickly apparent that it is going to take us longer.
Taking a breather

Taking a breather

The track is an impressive construction of stone steps which ascends 325m in 900m length! We are very impressed with the people who hauled all the stone for the 1000 steps into place, then more impressed with those who hauled the 250kg concrete power poles up there. After an hour and 15 minutes, we reach the top and the observation tower. I cannot describe how good the view was from the tower...because the bloody thing was locked!
R leads the way

R leads the way

P and Angus at the observatory

P and Angus at the observatory

After discussing how to take out our frustration, we settled for sitting at the bar out the front, drinking water and eating snacks. The climb down was quicker, especially as we have lunch waiting for us.
After lunch we get domestic and do washing and since it is Sunday, crack a beer.
Getting relaxed, LH breaks the mood when she reminds us this is cooking day. Between us and the HSBC crowd, we are taking over the kitchen to provide meals for both teams.
This proves to be chaos with too many cooks. LH is guiding our team in our endeavours, and despite my help, we are quite productive and have all our dishes finished only 30 minutes later than normal service time. The HSBC teams who started after us seem to have chosen more elaborate dishes and as a result we are finally sitting down for dinner at 8pm! The final meal though is great with loads of different meals from all the different countries represented by the teams.chef!

chef!

Posted by lostagain 05:21 Archived in China

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