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Stunning but Sobering China

June 10, 2015 1 Comment

Diary Notes from 4 June to 10 June 2015

Thursday 4th June and Friday 5th June 2015

We drove east of the Laos border crossing, some 700km in the Young Yan area of terraced rice paddies. It’s a gob-smacking sight, marked in Lonely Planet, as a ‘must see’ in China.

Thanks to Green we took a back road to Eagles Head, where the view from the top of a sheer cliff is stunning. It, to me, was better than the sunrise and sunset tourist viewing platforms. We were there outside peak tourist time, so access and accommodation was fine.

The viewing platforms are large enough to accommodate thousands, so walking around would be a real nightmare at peak times. The tourism is all domestic, not foreign.

The people in this area are, to us, jaded by the attention and probably want everybody to piss off and leave them to a subsistence life. That won’t happen. So, that group, at those villages, were the rudest Chinese we have met so far.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

A long drive to a place called Anshun, where we found tragedy on the highway, as Hendo described in one of his blog entries.

Chinese drivers, with the notable exception of truck drivers, range in skill from poor to suicidal. They have no concept of the size of their car. They speed along straights, but brake for the slightest curve, or slow as they catch a slower car, so it takes them ages to get around.

Anyway, a young farmer was walking a water buffalo calf along the highway, (think Hume Highway here). It gets spooked and is hit by a truck and killed. The young farmer is distraught, runs after the calf and gets himself hit by a speeding car.

Then we turn up.

Lynn and Hendo went to the young man, Donna and Barry went to the oncoming traffic, to slow it down. I tried to back the Cruiser to form a barrier between the oncoming traffic and the injured man and our people.

He was alive, unconscious and had landed in a side position. He had bad head injuries. The traffic zoomed and swerved past like there was no tomorrow and for this farmer, I thought that was the case.

When the ambulance arrived they bundled him into the ambo and off they went. No time to check if he had spinal or other injuries, just a fireman’s carry onto the stretcher into the ambo.

A sobering insight into road risk in China.

Sunday 7th June and Monday 8th June 2015

Cave Walking in China


Two awesome days.

We went to the most stupendous caves I’ve ever seen. They stretch four km into the mountain and have the best range of structures you could imagine. I think it’s ranked as the best in China and number eight in the world. You could put Jenolan Caves inside it a number of times. We entered with a group and a guide and Lynn and I thought that would be daggy, but the cave was sooo big that the group sort of disappeared. I took heaps of photos, but I don’t think they’ll do it justice.

The waterfall, the following day, was a series of falls and parks, in a park setting. Talk about a cranky piece of water! We had rain overnight before the visit, so the river level was up and many of the viewing platforms were under water, but this wasn’t an issue. It was just fantastic.

We had some street food tonight; seven kebabs. Two were capsicum and melon and the other five were meat – beef, goat, chicken, then a sausage of goodness knows what, and lung. The lung had the texture of watermelon, with a funny meaty/offal taste. Quite pleasant, but one stick was quite enough!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Off to Kunming today. Spent the afternoon washing dirty clothes.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Who’d have thought! We’ve now been in China for eight days.

I must say the first three or so days were very, very trying for me. I didn’t seem to have the pace (or lack of, due to inefficiencies of the place) in my system. So for those first days I just fought with them. However while you can beat anyone, one on one, when there are 1.3 billion, they’ll wear you down.

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  1. Annie says:

    Sounds like your having a great time. Very envious.

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