Yangshou

After 29 hours straight travel we have arrived at Yangshou and what a place it is. 

In the day, as it is now it a is a wonderful small town with lots of cafes and small shops, hotels and rally welcoming to backpackers. In the even, it explodes and the place is like a gigantic nightclub. 

I prefer the day. 

We left the boat and headed to the Three Gorges Damn. This is an amazing engineering feat, but not an amazing special. Much like a duck, most of the action is happening below the waterline, and the end result looks like a concrete footbridge, rather than one of the largest projects off all time. 

After the damn, we caught a bullet train and boy are they cool. They make 200mph feel like 15mph, which is ironic because a Chinese minivan driver can make 15mph feel like 200mph!

Then it was onto another sleeper train and a huge stretch, in which no-one rested well, before transferring to a public bus for a 2 hour ride with a poorly baby screaming it’s little head off. 

We just had time to dump the bags and grab a bite to eat before we split into groups to do various activities. 

I had decided to do a river rafting on a small bamboo raft and it was spectacular. We skimmed just above the water at a leisurely pace surrounded by the most amazing mountains and vegetation. Along the banks, framers worked in paddy fields, or ploughed using water buffalo. 

In the hour on the water the tiredness drained away and I reflected on just how lucky I am to be here and dreamed of what other wonders I will see on this journey. 

Today, I’ve a free day and I’ve spent it wandering the town, where I got into a long conversation with a couple of locals about my travels. We sat by the river and I showed them some of my pictures and those from home. 

I’m now in a cafe, catching up on my diary and waiting for my washing at a nearby laundry. I’ve had a really nice place of noodles and I’m feeling totally chilled out. 

Tomorrow morning I have a cooking class, where some poor chef if going to try to teach me to cook five Chinese dishes. It should be fun for me, if not for him!

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