November 1stI gave Huan her yesterday’s choice today, over the bridge and into the countryside. My plan was to get one more “empty places” video today. I overdid myself and we got two of them and a pig video. The first empty place is not far from us, just across the river and down a bit. It used to be a machine shop. Now it appears to be some kind of rubbish collection and sorting point. The man we met inside said his grandfather built it, which I took with a pinch of salt! Surprisingly one of the rooms had Christian calendars on the wall, the latest one appeared to be from 2013. I doubt very much if the place was still functioning at that time so this was more than likely an 'underground church'. Anyway, here’s the entrance, no name I’m afraid.
Next up were some very pretty cows having their cowshed cleaned out by the farmer. I was able to get quite close to these.
Would you believe that the next item of interest was more cows, this time being herded down a narrow track through the woods by another farmer. We passed them and then I missed my way somewhat. We weren’t lost but neither were we where we were supposed to be.
Before long we were back on the right track and that, strangely enough, brought us to another “empty place”. Well this one is not quite empty, some work still goes on here. It is a Chinese Medicine factory, we think they are still making medicines from tree bark here. We went in through the back gate, or where the gate used to be, and had a good old prowl around. Previously we have never been challenged here. Today one guy was a little upset so Huan wondered if they were perhaps working illegally. No real worries for us though. We went out through the front gate.
Whenever we walk this route, I always pop in to see some piggy friends. Today the farmer was there so Huan had a good chat with her and I took yet another video. I also learnt something new. I knew pigs were fed restaurant leftovers but I never realised that they boiled them up again. In addition to that, they add what they call 'pig vegetables' to the resulting 'stew' before feeding it to the pigs. Huan and I think the vegetable may be sweet potato leaves. The pigs certainly looked healthy enough. People do eat sweet potato leaves too but I can't say I really like them. Here’s the broth in progress, I didn’t try it!
November 2nd What a day! My part of the plan went well enough, we were to walk to Mao’An, the first village on the road to Sanya. This was a recce for future walks where we might try and go a little further on the same road. It wasn’t a difficult walk; nearly sixteen kilometres, there were hills but nothing too steep. We also passed many honey sellers on the way although we didn’t buy any.
The second part of the plan, Huan’s, was an abject failure but I can’t blame her. We were going to visit Cháng qīng chá xī gǔ, (常青茶溪谷), or Evergreen Tea Valley as Google translates it. First, we paid ¥40 each for tickets, not a bad price really I suppose. However, we then stood there for ages and ages waiting for a bus to take us to our destination. That turned out to be another ticket office. The bus that had taken us that far was delivering lunches to staff at the various outposts so due to the fact that we had missed lunch we decided to stay with that one. We never saw any tea at all! There were a few shrines at the side of the road, a long wall with who knows what written on plaques, a threadbare zoo, a dinosaur park, a military (?) museum, some well kept gardens and who knows what else. We stopped off at the dinosaur park where there is a ‘lookout point’. Unfortunately it was too hazy for photos today. There is a café there, with no coffee and no snacks!
We got another bus down to the main reception area where we tried to get maps for a future visit. “Sorry, we ran out in the October holidays and we haven’t got any new ones yet”! There is no website, the one on the ticket has nothing to do with the tourist site at all. In fact, all they could give us was an eight page brochure on how to behave! While we were there we talked to a party of Chinese tourists, they had come from a place near Ledong. They had paid ¥36 each which included their coach trip, their guided tour around the park and their lunch at the hotel. Much as I hate the idea, we may have to go down that same route in the future.
We haven’t given up yet though, we will go back again, only next time in the car. That means we can go straight to the second ticket office where at least there will be buses to take us around the park. I’ll also take my ‘big’ camera next time and try and get some decent photos for you. If you should decide to visit, this is the main gate in the village.
And this is a photo of the map displayed in the ticket office. There is a lot to see here and it’s probably worth a visit. If only the management understood how foreign tourist’s minds worked I’m sure it would be great!
November 3rd Any plans we had were thwarted by a call from Dalian. That meant Huan having to go the post office this morning to EMS some stuff there. Why? I know why, but I can’t explain the reasoning behind it. It’s amazing the hoops people have to jump through sometimes when dealing with bureaucracy.
So, we still had a walk but not a planned one. When we got to the post office, I left Huan to go in and do the business while I went off on my way. We arranged for her to call me when she was done and then ‘match our routes’. It worked out fairly well for me, some fast kilometres in the middle with slower ones at the beginning and end with Huan. My total was just over ten kilometres in just less than two hours, good enough for me! And for you, no photos today. Sorry…
November 4th Today, I had a plan, my inner Baldrick was working well. The weather was on our side this morning too, it was overcast. My plan was to go and explore another reservoir, this one is one the way to Tàipíng shuǐkù. We’ve seen the turn off before, just never tried going there. This one is called Yá xù shuǐ kù, and this is the lovely walk up, albeit another steep one.
When we reached the top we found that the place used to be known as Tōng shén zhèn yǎ chù cūn (Tongshi Town Yawu Village) and it was used as jìndú bāng fú jiàoyù jīdì, (Anti-drug assistance education base), like a drug rehabilitation centre I suppose. I would also hazard a guess that it was Wuzhishan’s drinking water supply when the town was much smaller than it is now. There’s no sign of any rehabilitation centre anymore, but if you had to go to such a place, this one would more than fit the bill.
Now I hate to do this to you, but cows are back! I couldn’t not include these photos. This calf, not such a young one, came straight to me.
On our way back from the reservoir retaining wall, Huan had a go, but he wouldn’t go to her. Perhaps he sensed her nerves?
Obviously he had no problems with me at all!
I did take another couple of screenshots but I think you have enough for today, don’t you? If you do fancy seeing more, the full video is up on my YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe!
November 5th Mundane Monday, shrewd shopping, accurate admin, scintillating scanning, fanciful filing, narcoleptic napping, painstaking purchasing (on Taobao), tasteful tidying, comfortable cuddling all before a boring Bonfire night! And below, just for you, invisible images!
November 6th First, our summary from October. Pretty impressive eh?
Now on to our daily walk, which today was 17.62 kilometres. We started off on another reservoir search but it wasn't to be. Our ‘camera’ route started from Za Weng, 什翁水库 reservoir and went 'up' from there. We ended up almost 11 kilometres away from home and unable to go any further, well, not without going ‘offroad’ anyway. The point we reached was an old farming village, actually more like the old community farms, this one was a few buildings with about a kilometre between them. Not many people live there now. The people Huan spoke to were both on pension, living rent free, probably water and electric free too. They are surrounded by many Bing Lang (槟榔) trees and more than double their pensions by selling betel nuts. They also told us that their water came from the river and that there was no reservoir further up the mountain. Here’s a screen shot of two tired old people saying goodbye on our YouTube video. We then walked all the way back down the hill and got a bus home for lunch!
November 7th Any plans we had were thwarted by Huan’s phone which once again had WiFi problems. Last time this happened even putting her phone into English I couldn’t sort it so it was back to the network provider again. This time the lady in the shop had to remove the battery, remove the sim card and then replace both. According to her, it was a sim card problem. Now what the sim card has to do with WiFi I don’t know!
Because we had started later we kept to our town and park loop. The first thing we noticed is that there are a lot more people around, the northerners must be back in force. Here’s a few relaxing by our bridge turnaround point.
About six and a half kilometres in my sandals, remember them, well they decided they’d had enough.
A quick repair by Huan with a torn off piece of sacking from the side of the road kept me going for about another twenty metres before that failed too! She then repaired them again with my glasses cord which meant I could manage to reach home but we couldn’t get our ‘minimum ten for the day’ kilometres.
On our way home we passed today’s brush with the local wildlife, what seemed to be a baby rat. Much to Huan’s consternation I picked him up with my phone case and carried him to the verge where at least he wouldn’t be trodden on. We also had to warn a young mother to stop her children trying to go and play with it!
Because we hadn’t made our daily total we went out for an after dinner walk. It also gave me a chance to ‘measure out 5 kilometres’ just in case I decide to take on the NHS ‘couch to 5k’! Arriving back home we also checked on our little friend from this morning but there was no sign of him. Whether he found his way home or whether someone decided to do away with him, we have no idea. I know he was only a rat, but I hope it was the former!
November 8th An early start for me today, I was out before Huan, and I had a plan! Today the plan was to walk ‘out’ ten kilometres and then ‘back’ the same ten kilometres. I called Huan after eight kilometres and told her to turn round and go back to a refreshment place to wait for me. She had gone just over five kilometres by then. I did a small video for Facebook showing the turnaround point, the point where I met Huan and the homecoming point. Here’s a screen shot of the turnaround point at ten kilometres, showing my new sandals in action!
It’s not obvious from the picture but my shirt was absolutely drenched, I had been ‘really motoring’ as they say. I had completed the ten kilometres in less than one hour and forty minutes. I kept the same pace until I reached fifteen kilometres, (less than two hours and twenty five minutes) but slowed down once I met Huan. My final total was twenty kilometres as planned. Here we are at the end, Huan suitably amazed.
Of course, I suffered for it and it’s safe to say there will be no daytime walking tomorrow. Here are my feet on the ‘operating table’ before Huan got busy with the hot needle.
November 9th Because of my (self inflicted) injury yesterday, we decided a car trip was in order today. Our plan was to visit the tourist site ‘Stone Forest’ which we had tried in the past but couldn’t get to because of road works. Our first two attempts today were hopeless. There is a sign two kilometres away but nothing at the site at all. Both our attempts resulted in dead ends.
We had given up and were driving away when a fellow traveller, who was in the same predicament as us, called Huan and said he had found it! It turns out that it was only 50 to 100 metres past the turn off to the second village we had been to, and we had passed it en route to the first. Looking at this photo perhaps you can see why we missed it. Our fellow traveller found it by walking around the junction.
As you can also probably guess from the photo, it is not an ‘operational’ tourist site. Huan and our friend were able to get into the cave, I wasn’t. It wasn’t my belly stopping me, I can hold that in, it was my chest measurements! Unfortunately, we have no decent pictures from inside. My torch was too weak and our friend’s phone wasn’t good enough either. However, Huan tells me that there are stone pillars in the cave. I would assume then that the ‘stone forest’ is in the cave rather than the cave being in the stone forest’. Huan took a video with our Keymission camera but there was nowhere near enough light. All I could get from the gate, with my Fuji and flash, was this.
Huan tells me that there are more caves inside so I would think this is a place definitely worth a visit, if it ever opens. If not, you will need slim people, lots of torches, I would suggest lantern types as well, good cameras, and I would recommend some means of communication with someone that you leave outside, just in case cell phone reception is no good.
November 10th Woke up this morning, yeh, fell out of bead and banged my head, yeh! And that’s it for today’s ‘blues’ song. Actually, I woke up this morning with a big flap of skin dangling under my right foot, about the size of a half crown. For those of you who can’t remember half crowns, you can substitute a fifty pence piece! That meant of course that walking would have to be limited and slower today. We managed around seven kilometres around the river this morning and another three around the town this evening. I did take a couple of photos on the way round but unfortunately, there were absolutely rubbish so nothing for you today!
November 11th Remembrance Day, unfortunately no poppies or remembrance here. 11/11 in China is known as Singles Day, started as an alternative to Valentine’s Day but now the biggest shopping day in the world. Anyway, down to our day. Much the same as yesterday, a longer ‘stroll’ in the morning and a short one in the evening. I may have mentioned this before, but certainly not this month, so I can’t be accused of being senile just yet! Hainan is to China what Bournemouth used to be to the UK, a place where people go to retire. The difference is in China, they only retire during the ‘winter months’ and stay up north for the rest. Today’s walk had us going along the riverside where we saw a group of ladies practicing for San Yue San next year, some bird cages hanging in the trees, an accordion player with a small choir, a mouth organ player with a couple of soloists, some card players, some Tai Chi enthusiasts, (Huan had a try), a lady saxophonist, and of course a few fishermen. Retirement certainly isn’t boring in China! We took a video of most of it but the only photos we took were the bird cages in the trees, quite a common sight up north, but the first time we’ve seen it here.
Our evening walk was fairly mundane, just a short walk around the town taking in a couple of hardware repair shops. Our water cooler’s on the blink and we want to see whether it will be cheaper to repair or buy a new one. It is only three years old! We ended up with a phone number. Lastly, for today, you may have heard of betel nuts, well this was the scene outside our apartment complex this evening. It’s no wonder people get rich from them!
November 12th Monday, Monday, so good to me, etc. Huan was off to a ‘meeting’ this morning, a meeting of the ‘band of eleven’ and the security / maintenance company. Their contract is due for renewal so that was one of the items on the agenda. Guess what? If we want better service from another company the annual fees to each household will have to go up. Surprise, surprise eh? Result? We stay with the company we have now and gripe as much as we can!
While Huan was gallivanting I was busy with my own household maintenance. First I replaced another sixteen wheels on the windows, two sets of wheels on each of eight windows. I even fought like mad to get the bedroom balcony door off only to find it already has good wheels fitted! Just to round off my morning I also replaced all the remaining window locks. The new ones, which are probably no safer than the old ones, look like this.
Being Monday of course, it’s also shopping day, which, apart from being delayed until after lunch was almost the same as usual. I say almost, because there was one slight difference. Huan decided that live fish were in order. She will keep them in a bowl for a day or two before ‘murdering’ them. I’ll be hiding somewhere else then.
November 13th Here I am, on my own again, the second time today! This morning Huan went off to another meeting about a road repair within our complex. “Try for a guarantee.” I suggested, “Ask for ten years and negotiate down.” Sorry, no guarantee as the original construction was so poor in the first place!
While her ladyship was out I had a little walk of my own, not too quickly, my feet aren’t quite back to normal yet. I did manage just over twelve kilometres though. Today’s photos? The ubiquitous test cars. Spot the driver waving out of his window trying to stop me taking pictures. The other driver was doing the same too. Needless to say, I couldn’t get close enough today to tell you what make they are.
When I got home it was straight out again. Our phone number for the water cooler repair man was a waste of time. He had no intention of helping at all and told us we shouldn’t even have his phone number! So, the cooler was delivered to the hole in the wall repair shop, which I forgot to take a photo of!
And why am I alone this afternoon? Well, the Prime Minister has gone to another meeting. This time all the restaurant owners in the complex have been invited. They will be asked to stop using public spaces for their food preparation, their outside cooking areas and their tables, and to return such spaces, even if built on, back to public use. In one or two cases, residents can’t open their windows because of barbecuing going on downstairs. If I was a betting man, I would lay odds that nothing will come of this meeting and life will just go on as before! I was right! Feeble excuses were made, promises that won’t be kept etc.
November 14th Normal day, both of us out for a walk, same route as yesterday but shorter. No photos of any note. Before I had got up Huan had taken the fish off the balcony and ‘murdered’ them! She was quite humane I suppose, she stuck them all in the freezer. I wonder if fish shiver? Still, it’s not such a bad way to go, I remember falling asleep in the snow in Harbin, wearing my swimming trunks. It felt pretty good! So, about the little fishies, this is how they ended up, on a plate with some spinach and some of Huan’s home made bread. Tasty!
We had another shorter walk in the evening, wanting to check if there was any progress with our water cooler. It seems the repairman in question won’t be there until tomorrow. At least today I managed to get a photo of the shop for you. What do you think? It’s certainly unlike any workshop I have worked in!
November 15th Started off on my own again today which meant I was able to get the first five kilometres in fifty seven minutes. I also managed a photo from my solo part, it’s titled “If You Go Down To The Woods Today”. I guess some people will always find somewhere to gamble. Personally, I prefer gambolling in the woods!
Huan joined me just before I reached the main road and we continued around the riverside where, we managed to get another photo for you. In this case, you’d prefer not to hear the video! However, the oldies from up north were certainly enjoying themselves. If you’re interested, the two gentlemen are playing 二胡, (èrhú), a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a Southern Fiddle, and sometimes known in the Western world as the Chinese violin or a Chinese two-stringed fiddle. (According to Wikipedia.)
November 16th Joint effort today, same route as the last few days. So, let’s talk about rubbish shall we? Or trash or garbage or whatever else you want to call it. Sometimes I despair of people, not Chinese people, but all people. China in fact would probably surprise a lot of you. The cities, towns and villages are for the most part fairly clean. We do have a small problem with betel nut juice in Hainan but that is improving slowly. In urban districts, apart from the municipal cleaners you will also see whole neighbourhoods cleaning together, the army cleaning outside their barracks and students cleaning outside their schools. Outside of towns, cities and villages though it’s a little different, just like it is in any other country. Here’s the scene not even ten metres away from the bridge which has a sign prohibiting the leaving of rubbish in the river, with a special mention of beer bottles. What do you see on the rocks?
Further round we met my two canine friends again who have now started running to greet me when they see me. No photos this time. I will have to plan to take some doggy biscuits one time, along with Huan, and then she can take pictures of me having my hand chewed off!
Another stroll around this evening, mostly to buy the weekend’s lottery tickets. The sales girl got one number wrong, I hope that wouldn’t have been a winner. Of course, her error might also have created a winner! On our way home Huan checked up on the water cooler, we may be able to collect it tomorrow. I hope we can because I really miss it, I drink a lot of water. It must be a transition from youth to senility. When I was young it was gallons of beer, and now it’s gallons of water!
November 17th Two walks, no photos, no water cooler!
November 18th Sunday today, our plan was only one walk then a ‘full English’ followed by a lazy day with sandwiches for tea / dinner. It worked. “Any photos?” I hear you ask. Well, not from our walk, fry up or sarnies, no. Maybe you’ll like this one though. They have just installed one of those ‘sit in the middle of the crossroads temporary traffic lights’ at the end of our road. Previous visitors will spot the difference immediately! If you are coming in from the highway, be prepared. My question would be “Why not use the traffic lights that already exist?” Maybe someone forgot to wire them up. After all, they’ve never worked since they were installed.
November 19th Monday is washing day. Is everybody happy? You bet your life we are! OK fans, off you go to Google to name that song and artist. It is Monday of course and coincidentally, as well as being shopping day, it is also washing day. Other than that, nothing to report. There is the water cooler I suppose, but the news there is that a part is needed so we will have to wait another three days at least. I bet the part is coming from Taobao! I had debated fixing it myself but for the life of me, I couldn’t see how to get the cooling fan and associated gubbins out. Ah well, it won’t cost much, only ¥90.
November 20th After a week of nearly the same walk every day it was nice to be back in the countryside again, away from the sounds of the city. We kept the speed down though, I don’t want my feet to blister up again before we get to Haikou for some new shoes. What did we see on our walk? Well lots of the usual of course, and I know I wasn’t going to show you more cows but how could I not show you this one. I only wish I had had my Fuji with me.
Now you may have heard of a traditional Scottish folk song about crows, the first line goes like this “Three craws sat upon a wa'”. How about “Two ducks sat upon a gate”. Huan was wondering how they got there. I suppose they can fly at least as well as chickens can.
We took quite a lot of photos today, too many to use here but I think you deserve a couple more. Have you seen those web like structures on the damp ground in the mornings. I always thought they were spider’s webs but I was never really sure. When we got home and cropped this photos though, there was the culprit, just towards the middle top of the picture. Neither of us had noticed it in ‘real life’ though.
And last but certainly not least for today, how could we not include this handsome fellow for you. Even with my phone, I got quite near. I did try for an even closer shot but he was having none of that and scooted off down the stems.
November 21st Only two small walks today. “Why?” I hear you ask. Well, Huan decided that we should visit the Wuzhishan Nature Reserve (wǔzhǐshān zìrán bǎohù qū - 五指山自然保护区), and who am I to disagree. Unfortunately, the guard on the gate disagreed, it seems that ‘foreigners are not allowed’. He did say that we should approach an army office in Haikou to obtain a permit but he had no idea where that office was. A quick check on the internet when we got home showed that no one else knows where that office is either! So, this is as far as we got.
Our day wasn’t wasted though because we did manage to visit the Wuzhishan Tropical Rainforest Scenic Area, (Wǔzhǐshān rèdài yǔlín fēngjǐngqū - 五指山热带雨林风景区). The walk is quite a short one but very pleasant I have to say. We took a lot of photos there, over two hundred in fact, but none of them are here. However, you can find nearly half of them if you go to my album on the forum, http://thehainanforum.com/m/photos/browse/album/Wuzhishan-Tropical-Rainforest-Scenic-Area/owner/Unclebob. There is also a video on my Youtube channel, playlist 3. All in all, it was a very pleasant outing, a place I would definitely recommend. Snacks and water are available on the way round as well as at the terminus. I would suggest that this time of the year is probably the best time, the weather is very amenable and the walk is dry. Summertime would be a definite no-no!
Of course we couldn’t leave you with no photographs so I took some of some flowers on the drive home. Huan reckons these are poinsettias. She could be right, they are blooming at the right time, although I have never seen them this big. I also wasn’t very keen on the bee! They’ve been after me all day today. It must be the white hair and the white shirt!
So where were the two short walks then? Well, we did three kilometres around the scenic area taking us just over two hours and then, after dinner another three in Wuzhishan in almost an hour. We had to buy today’s lottery ticket and some ant powder. I found an ant on my desk yesterday! Of course, I may have brought it back from the countryside, but better to safe than sorry!
November 22ndTwo walks today, 10.44 km in the morning and 6.59km in he evening. I suppose that made up for yesterday. Not much to see though although we did get quite a nice photo of the ‘evening river’. I took some of some fishermen but they didn’t come out so well. This one will have to do.
November 23rdHuan had a text last night, she had to go to another committee meeting this morning. That meant of course I was able to shoot off on my own. I took the landfill route which I think we may well put out of bounds now until the rainy season starts again. Because of the highway work there was dust everywhere. Still I did well enough. Huan called me when I had gone just over 8km, her meeting had finished, so we met up at my 10.4km point. Having already done one ‘up and over’ we decided to take in another one and went ‘up and over’ our local park. This added another 7.4km giving me a total of 17.8 and Huan 9.5. Not bad for a day’s work eh? Of course having done so much this morning we could be lazy in the evening!
On our way home we went past the water cooler ‘workshop’ only to find that the ‘part’ still hasn’t arrived. I wonder if they used the same Taobao as us or if perhaps they hadn’t ordered it before we had agreed the ¥90 repair charge. Carrying on up the hill we found out that there was an anniversary run for Hainan’s 30th birthday, or something like that. As it is tomorrow we considered it only to find that we were too late to get our names down. Ah well, I’d have had to walk it in my sandals anyway, maybe next year.
November 24th A good start to the day which unfortunately soon started to go wrong. I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘armchair critic’ and maybe even ‘armchair warrior’. Well, we went off for our morning walk and I soon turned into a ‘stool warrior’. You’ve guessed it, nothing to do with armchairs and all to do with #2s. We were about two and a half kilometres in when I felt the urge and luckily for us, not far from one of Wuzhishan’s WCs. I suppose we should have turned round there and gone home but I thought I’d be fine. As my Mum would have said “You know what thought did, don’t you?” One low overhanging branch, (that’s army training for you), and another four WCs later and I was wishing we had turned back. Once home, I was so knackered I went straight to bed only getting up for the occasional drink of water which usually made itself known not long thereafter!
November 25th Much more of the same. I had half a slice of dry toast for breakfast and the other half for lunch and dinner. Recovery did not seem to be taking effect like it normally does. We all have our different ways of dealing with ‘stomach ailments’. For the Chinese it’s usually rice soup, for me it’s usually just drink water and then slowly re-introduce solids in the form of dry toast or, believe it or not, ready salted crisps. No crisps available so I stuck to the toast. Unfortunately, just like yesterday it wasn’t taking too long to reappear. By the evening though I was out of bed and watching ‘The Bill’ on the computer again.
Even more unfortunately, having fussed over me for nearly two days Huan came down with what we call her ‘old lady problem’. It’s a bit like morning sickness and in fact usually affects her in the mornings. Today it started in the evening! Poor girl.
November 26th We should have been out this morning, ferrying the committee around various security/maintenance companies. Huan was still too ill. I said I would drive the car anyway but they said I didn’t have too. Be thankful for small mercies! Huan was the one in bed today with me being the fusspot in between episodes of ‘The Bill’. No breakfast for either of us although I did have a black coffee. Lunch for me was dry toast with a salty hard boiled egg, and for Huan, rice soup.
After another boiled egg and toast sandwich I left Huan still resting in bed and went out. I needed some fresh air but also needed to buy the ever hopeful lottery tickets for today and tomorrow. At least I added something to the monthly kilometre total!
November 27th Two frail old people today, Huan having rice soup for breakfast and me having black coffee. Since we hadn’t been shopping yesterday we had to go today. On the way we passed by the water cooler workshop. Guess what? It’s not ready! According to them, the wrong part arrived. If you want my opinion, they probably ordered the wrong part.
Lunch was a cheese and onion toastie for each of us. Dinner was fine, a full English breakfast. Well, the makings had been in the fridge since Saturday. The bacon was a new batch, actually bought in our local supermarket and called ‘western style’. It was pretty good!
November 28th Huan was feeling much better today, my belly was still a little fragile. I guess I must have eaten far too much yesterday! However, a walk was definitely called for and off we went. I did have to visit one our local ‘conveniences’ but belly is certainly improving. The other point of note would be the weather. It’s been a little miserable these last few days and neither of us checked the forecast before going out this morning. Our walk was eleven and a half kilometres and when we were about five and a half away from home, on the outward journey, the rain started. “You can run but you can’t hide!” No place to get undercover at all so by the time we got home we were both soaked to the skin. Here’s a screenshot of a short video taken en route.
The rain persisted for the rest of the day so no more walks, or photos.
November 29th There were no walks planned for today, instead it was a drive, to Sanya. Bank time, time to change some lovely English loot into lovely Chinese loot. We got a better rate than last time, 8.8 but how I wish it was still way above 10 as it was way back when. A quick visit to Corner’s Deli for some grapefruit juice, beetroot, German bread and Tabasco sauce and then we were on our way home again. Sanya was beautiful and sunny, home was back to rain! We were also just too lazy to go out walking in the evening!
November 30thOut first this morning, Huan was cooking pork bones for our dinner. Why so early? Well, we have no gas and there’s another story. Nobody can find the gas man. He seems to have disappeared with whatever money we have all given him. It should be easy to sort these things out but, you guessed it, this is China! Anyway, off I went and the first photo for today is yet another (dead) snake. This one is bigger than most we usually see and it was not far from where a local woman had told us not to walk in the woods. Glad we took her advice!
I carried on walking intending to do the ‘up and over and down’, that is ‘up’ to the bridge, ‘over’ to the other side and ‘down’ the park route. We’ve had a fair bit of rain in the last few days though so I changed my mind and came back down the same way I went up. Of course, I did have to take a photo to prove to Huan that I had actually been as far as the bridge.
Not long after I joined up with Huan it appeared the weather was changing again. It was trying to rain so my ‘long’ walk was cut short. Still, I should have broken the 300km mark this month. We’ll see when I receive the summary email.
Just as well we cut our walk short though as Huan ended up in meetings again about the gas. She is really not keen on being a ‘member of t’committee’ but I’m glad that she is. At least we have some idea of what is going on!
After lunch, more inconvenience for Huan, a trip to the courts had been planned. As it happens, she was a little late and they went without her. If the courts get involved we could be without gas for months. This should be an easy fix, open the gas building, find a new company, (this time sign a contract and get the Hukou numbers of all concerned), buy some gas and bingo, off we go. I guess they will all be worried about the fairly small amount of money they have already paid.
Anyway, enough ‘gassing’ from me, I will leave you with this: -
I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at the morning driving rain
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right. I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash
It's a gas, gas, gas!
Sorry – see you next month!
I guess it does make sense that the stew is boiled again for the pigs, a lot of sick pigs would make a hell of a mess :) Hope you are reading up on how to behave. Let us know how that place goes ... might visit next time we're down. How's the feet ... those blisters look bad