Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Show Me the Money

We might have a slight addiction to renting motor bikes and riding them around remote places in 
China but it really is the best way to explore and see the most. We rented bikes yet again in Xingping from a guy up the street from our hostel. The Chinese language here is a lot harder to understand because they 
don't speak as clearly and they don't understand our Chinese as easily as up north but we 
negotiated a price to have the bikes the entire day. 

Our first stop was the river to throw more fireworks  into the water and watch them explode.
They were far more powerful than we imagined and throwing them into shallow water was been the best way to enjoy them. People would even stop along the bridge to watch to water shoot up from the explosion.
It's all very exciting.

We didn't really have a plan for the day other than driving around to see what was around Xingping.
We stopped at what looked like a perfect spot and saw some other people standing around with money 
taking pictures. It was then that we realized we were looking at the actual image
on the back of the 20 RMB bill. Now we are inspired to visit all the landscapes found on the money. 
Two down, four to go! 
(100 Yuan bill has the image of The Great Hall of the People in Beijing)

We all paid to take pictures with a cormorant fisherman. He trains his birds to dive into the water to fill their mouths with fish. It is a unique way of fishing that is popular in this area.The bamboo pole with the birds was much heavier than I expected. 
I don't know how everyone around here carries things from food to children around like this. 
He was a nice man who was happy to pose with us when we asked. 
I'm pretty sure they've also been trained to strike a pose. They were all business when the cameras went up.

We took our motor bikes on a ferry across the river to drive around on small area that seemed like
an island even though it wasn't completely surrounded by the river.
We saw this area from on top of the mountain yesterday. It felt even more remote than any other area 
we've visited with nothing but bumpy roads, orange orchards, little alleyways that lead to peoples homes,
and all the best views of the mountains. 

Andrew and I each found a heart-shaped rock to remember the best view we've had yet on the river road.

Oh, and this is just one of Andrew's master pieces he drew in the Cafe's "memory book" where we stayed.
They had drawings all over the walls that travelers hung, depicting where they came from.
We found one from Palacios, TX and some in FL too. He wanted to leave our mark in a unique way :)

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