This weekend was a little exhausting, but still managed to be a lot of fun! I think I’m FINALLY getting over my 4 week cold (the joys of teaching my little germ infested monkeys!), and I finally got to participate in the school’s cooking activity Sunday night! I made deviled eggs, Guiyang style. I substituted paprika for La Jiao and boy were they a hit! I had a couple of hecklers in the front row (kids can be so cruel!!) telling me they smelled bad and were going to be gross, but BOTH of them tried coming back for thirds, so I was pretty pleased with myself!!
As much as we would have loved to spend another weekend in another corner of Guizhou province, Dave and I opted to spend this Monday and Tuesday recovering our health and tackling the daunting task that is ‘cleaning our kitchen’. We still haven’t gotten around to cleaning it since we moved in a month and a half ago. It took nearly a week to get the rest of the place sanitized, and we needed some pretty heavy duty degreasers to get the layers of filth off the walls, so until now, we’ve just kept the door shut and avoided that room.
Of course, cooking on Sunday made me miss having a kitchen SO much that we’ve decided to make that our project tomorrow. So here I am, doing the next best thing to actually traveling: writing about traveling!
After a gorgeous and relaxing night in Zhenyuan Ancient town, we set off for our River Cruise Tuesday morning. A van picked us up at the hotel at 8:30am and we traveled to the Wuyang River dam with 2 other couples (both Chinese), which is located about an hour from the Ancient town. The road there was bumpy and pretty scary at some points, but we got there in one piece, perhaps thanks to our Chinese friends in the van, who continually told the driver to slow down because they didn’t want the Lao Wai to think badly of Chinese roads or drivers! One of them spoke English, which was great. I’m very proud of the amount of Mandarin I can speak (Dave told me about a month ago that he was SHOCKED when we got here…all of a sudden I could speak a 3rd language!), but it’s so nice getting a bit of a break now and then as well!
We were the only La Wai on the cruise, which was both nice and a bit of a nuisance. It was nice being the only westerners because so many of the people we’ve met on cruises in China have been very closed minded and extremely judgmental of the Chinese. But on the other hand, because we were the only light skinned occupants on the boat, we became a tourist attraction ourselves. Although the views from the boat were terrific, people seemed to be more interested in snapping photos with US…instead of with the scenery. We obliged for a few people (the ones who had been in the van with us), but then hid away from the crowds, where it was warmer and where we could enjoy the views, just the two of us 🙂
Roughly 3 and a half hours after the van picked us up, we were dropped off at our hotel, where we had to check out. The hotel’s owner was kind enough to hold our luggage for us while we walked through the ancient town once more. This time, we viewed the south side of the Wuyang River during the day time, which turned out to be just as beautiful of an experience as it was at night!
Eventually, we found the old city wall, that was built around 2000 years ago, and has since been restored. As the sun shone down on us, we walked along the clean path and enjoyed the gardens and the sounds of the river.
We took the north side of the river back to the hotel and enjoyed such a contrast in environment! After our serene walk along the old wall, we were met with the hustle and bustle of a Chinese city.
Still, as we wound our way down alleys and smaller streets during our final hour in Zhenyuan, we enjoyed unique sights and absorbed all the ‘new’ we could. There’s nothing quite like traveling, and I feel so incredibly lucky to be in a situation where I can just pack up for the weekend and experience something like Zhenyuan Ancient Village. I’m living the dream 🙂
Thanks again for tuning in, and check back soon! I still have so many posts to write!