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October 1stShopping and blog day. For some reason it took me ages to upload last month’s blog. At one stage I thought I had ‘too many characters’ so began trying to reduce the number, I’d almost done when I realised I’d read the limit wrong, by tens of thousands! Not to worry, all’s well that ends well, and the upload was successful. Not only that but I had an FB comment within ten minutes of doing it.
A little later on we had surprise visitors, Patrick, Flora, Podraig and Dodo, always welcome mind you. Not sure what the others got up to but Patrick and I had a beer or two on the balcony while putting the world to rights. We talked about cameras, but didn’t use them!
October 2nd First walk of the month, nothing special, just around the town to get ten kilometres in. We do have a couple of statues for you though. First off, China’s national animal, not sure how we’ve never seen this one before.
And secondly a gentleman on the loo! Of course you know who it is really don’t you? From Wikipedia – “The Thinker is a bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin, usually placed on a stone pedestal. The work shows a nude male figure of over life-size sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand as though deep in thought and is often used as an image to represent philosophy.” This one is not ‘over life size’; in fact, it’s quite small. Not bad for a residential compound in China though.
Suitably impressed with our walks in September, the summary came today. What do you think?
I thought I’d finished for today but I forgot we had visitors around for dinner, our friends from up north again. It was my turn to be the chef and I went overboard – with sausage casserole. It’s something very easy to put together, hardly any cooking needed and great with French bread. We don’t have that so instead we had Huan’s home made Pita bread, just as good. After dinner of course we had ‘drinks on the balcony’ again but this time with entertainment, provided by the enchanting duo of Patrick and Flora! Well this is the only photo you’re getting anyway even if it was Patrick playing the guitar with me caterwauling in the background. Eleven years of no singing practice really shows!
October 3rd I can’t say I really felt like walking this morning, still feeling a little woozy after last night, but I knew what was good for me so off we went. “Let’s turn here” Said Huan “and go through that village where that man said he liked his dog!!” It gave me a chance to do a village video (什贺村 - Zà hè cūn) on the way but then lo and behold, we had gone wrong. We didn’t end up in a village we were looking for, but at a reservoir. Never mind, that was something else to make a video of. (什翁水库 - Zà wēng shuǐkù) No photos or screen shots of those two videos though, last month’s blog was perhaps a little heavy on the pics. Instead, here’s a photo, a common sight in many apartment complexes, of one of the many entrances. They build them with more than one but then for one reason or another don’t use them.
October 4th Our visitors were returning this evening for some good old English grub, Shepherd’s Pie, or our version anyway. I’m never sure if it’s Shepherd’s or Cottage pie. Whatever, we had to go shopping in the morning because although we had enough food in the house, we didn’t have what we needed for this evening.
We, or should I say I, was very lazy for the rest of the day, no long walks, no short walks, in fact, no walks! However, I did spend a long time uploading more videos to YouTube and editing the ones on the PC to remove the Freemake watermark. Using Lightworks, the free version, means I don’t have those worries anymore.
So evening came and a good time was had by all. Podraig, Flora and Huan alternated between Chinese chess (象棋) and the TV. Patrick and I alternated between putting the world to rights and reducing the beer surplus!
October 5th A walk was definitely needed to clear away the cobwebs! As usual, we veered off plan. That wasn’t a bad thing though; it gave me two more videos to upload. One was another ‘Empty Places’ video and the other was a ‘Hiking’ one. I didn’t take any pics of the ‘Empty Places’ so you’ll have to make do with the ‘Hiking’ ones. These two show you the state of the track we were on and why we couldn’t go off the track!
On the way, we stumbled across a cemetery. It was very overgrown and it appeared that only one or two of the plots were being looked after. To get a good view of it a drone would be needed and I’m not going there!
As you can see from the photo, the track was at times quite wet. Most of the time we found a way round easily enough. Only I had a problem. I was leading and at one stage tried to avoid a thorny plant. I didn’t succeed in avoiding it but I did succeed in walking off the dry bit.
Those of you who have any idea of Wuzhishan may like to know where we walked. Well, I took this photo from the bedroom balcony when I got home and then cropped it. Can you see the telecoms tower? We almost got there! Next time we try this we’ll go straight there without any deviations. Today we walked eleven and a half kilometres and when we were struggling in the forest trying to find a way, I decided that I couldn’t force Huan to go further today. Don’t get me wrong, she would willingly have carried on, but I thought it better not to.
As an addendum to the above, all the photos you see of China during this particular holiday show throngs and throngs of tourists. Check out our video of today and you won’t see even one!
October 6th Isn’t October great? The rain seems to have all but disappeared, at least for a while. Nice long walk again today, not the one I had planned of course, Huan diverted us, again! She wanted to find the village with the man who loves his dogs!
We did get there today, (he wasn’t there), but first we passed a long term residential complex. If you pay ¥3,000.00 per month, you get a room and full board. I must say it wasn’t very busy but that’s probably because you can rent a whole apartment for less than ¥1,000.00 per month in Wuzhishan! We have no pictures of it because I was busy making another ‘village video’. The village name is Fandao and it’s on my YouTube channel, complete with the business card of this ‘hotel’.
Once we reached Fandao village we did pause the video though so that we would have something to show you. I wondered what they were growing here, ready to be transplanted later. Huan told me they were Binglang trees, as if there aren’t enough in the forests anyway!
And here’s a garden gnome sitting beside the village name stone!
October 7th Not going to be diverted from my plan today we went up towards the hotel on the hill before coming down the scenic stream way. We managed a couple of selfies, neither very good for some reason. Huan’s face looks a little grainy, never happened before with the phone camera. She still looks plenty good enough for me though!
Also on the way down we passed the little flower nursery where these two were very busy doing nothing. Poochy was sleeping in the sun while Chicky had made herself a little hole in the shade. C’est la vie!
My plan succeeded today, despite some advice to divert from ‘er indoors, which is just as well because I had planned to go shopping. Shopping for me, not the boss, I had a little work to do in the house. No photos of that though, sorry!
October 8th Another shopping day of course which would normally mean no photos and no walking. Sorry, failed on both counts. Here’s a photo taken waiting outside the bank while Huan went to the fish market. Beautiful isn’t it? I believe it is a ‘South China Moon Moth’. If you enlarge it there appears to be a lion’s head at the top. These kind of moths often have ‘tails’, sometimes longer than you see in this photo. It’s quite easy to see how they could be mistaken for fairies in days of old.
And the other failure? We ended up doing a six and a half kilometre trek around the town to try and buy a replacement lock for our kitchen balcony door. Not a chance! Our doors are PVC and eleven years old. Nowadays most people are using metal and even if they are using PVC, the locks are different. We ended up taking the one from the bathroom, (that window has security bars on it) and just changing them over. It worked anyway. Was there another photo? Not today.
October 9th So Yet Again, I had a plan, this time one that would please her Ladyship. We were to walk out of Wuzhishan towards Haikou and visit Atuo Ridge Forest Garden. Well this time it wasn’t exactly our fault that the plan failed. The ‘garden’ in question, despite being shown on tourist signposts, doesn’t really exist. The signs refer to the ridge (and valley) to the left of the main road after you’ve left Wuzhishan so there’s no actual tourist site. Never mind, we got quite a long walk in anyway. We left the main road and went into Za Hao village, 什好库, which is where we met a cleaning lady who explained Atuo Ridge to us. Za Hao is a very small village, nothing really to see so no photos.
After that we went trailblazing again and wandered into the surrounding greenery. I think where we were walking would actually be running with water during periods of heavy rain. In fact we did have to cross the ‘river / stream’ a couple of times. Here’s Huan, going first.
I followed, quite nervously. I used to be pretty nimble at things like this. I often think if Parkour had been around when I was younger, I would have been a natural! Nowadays though, it’s not the same. I wonder if it may because my eyes are not as good as they used to be so it’s not so easy to gauge the distances anymore. Still, I got across, twice on the way out and twice again on the way back.
Huan was up to her usual tricks, seeing what she could bring back from the forest. Today it was a banana tree! The sooner we win the lottery and buy a villa the better; the bedroom balcony is looking more like the Amazon Rainforest everyday.
October 10th We got the weather wrong again today, this time wrong the other way. We thought it was going to be a very cloudy day with the possibility of rain. I suggested we walk the landfill way, it’s uphill for the first 5.75 kilometres, and a cloudy day is better for it. Within the first kilometre the clouds disappeared and the sun came out! Still, it wasn’t too hot. You can see on this chart where the highest point is, that’s when I took my shirt off to give to Huan as extra sun protection for her and because it was soaking wet!
Now if you’ve been following our blog, or even watching our videos on YouTube, you will often have heard me bemoaning my footwear. Today, the latest pair almost gave up the ghost! Not to worry, I still have two more identical pairs in the wardrobe. When I get down to the last pair, then we order another two identical pairs. That’s Taobao for you.
October 11th I was lazy today, no, not too lazy to walk but too lazy to dig out my new sandals. That means the old ones got another fourteen kilometres in. Maybe I should see just how far I can push them! We stuck on San Yue San Da Dao, going south, which was the plan unless we found a new road to explore. After 7.2 km we hadn’t found such a road and we had reached the very edge of Wuzhishan, the ‘Tourist Information Office’.
There wasn’t a great deal in the way of tourist information, that door was locked, but there were souvenirs on sale, no drinks though! We took a walk around it and lo and behold, there are many photo opportunities to be had, quite a surprise. You have no idea about this from the main road, you have to stop and then be nosey as we were.
First there were frogs!
Then love was in the air!
We also found the natives frolicking in the fields so joined in! Can you see me?
If we ever do have a ‘house’ with a garden I thought we might have these two reproduced but with our faces. What do you think? (Hehehehe) Now as you can guess, we took a lot more photos than this but I’m trying to keep the numbers down for the blog. A long walk home again, followed by a shower, lunch and the now almost obligatory afternoon nap. Is it age I wonder. . .
October 12th New sandals on today and oooh, didn’t they do well? Nearly three hundred kilometres! We cheated of course.
Yes, we went on the new central highway. Huan wanted to try going to Sanya that way and I thought it was about time to check the bank again. What’s it like? Well you can see from the photo above that it’s not too busy. Will we do it again? Not to go to Sanya we won’t. The journey was nearly twice as far and at least half an hour longer. It took us two and a half hours to get to the bank from Wuzhishan with no coffee stops. It took us only two hours to get home from Corner’s Deli (Summerlands Mall) with two coffee stops.
The only picture I have from Sanya is Huan glugging her water after lunch and I’m forbidden to use that so instead, here’s a lovely flower from our Baoting Tourist Information rest stop. What do you think of its ‘tooth like’ seeds?
October 13th Saturday and as the weather was fine a nice long walk before a late breakfast. Well it was lunch for Huan and breakfast for me. Would you believe we spotted another dragonfly? Yes we did and here it is. There is something special about their shape, don’t you agree? Sometimes they look like something straight out of science fiction.
We went along our farm route today, warm, but not too much. Along the way, we spotted three young boys climbing a tree. They tried to hide after seeing us. Here’s a photo of the one I fished out of the irrigation ditch after he fell out of the tree! Obviously he had climbed straight back up again.
And why don’t we finish the day with a selfie again? #1 son and I had been discussing Pocari on Facebook and it just so happened I found a bottle this week. Here we are, after a ten kilometre walk, advertising! Now in years gone by, when I used to run a lot, I used to like this drink. It was called just ‘Pocari’ then and not ‘Pocari Sweat’. Today I have to say it tasted like sweat! Now I have never drunk it from a plastic bottle before so that could be one reason. Alternatively, my mind was associating the new name with an expected taste! I’ll try a can one of these days and check.
October 14th Took my old sandals out for a walk again, well, they are very comfortable. Today we wandered off towards Changhao village but took a turn on the left that we hadn’t tried for a long time. We couldn’t go higher up the mountain than we had before but then again, that’s probably a good thing. The last time we tried, we had to come down via the middle of a mountain stream! Before getting back to the main road, we took another little detour and discovered an old ammunition dump. The gates were hanging off, there was cut glass on the walls but there was also a surprisingly clean looking CCTV camera. I decided it would be better not to take photos or videos!
Here’s the view going back towards the road, beautiful walking scenery.
When we got to the road though I seemed to have a fair bit of blood on my feet. Closer inspection showed that I had been ‘leeched’ and in fact was still being ‘leeched’! We found probably six of them in total, even between my toes! It’s amazing how quickly they can manage to find a warm blooded human being even when you’re walking fairly quickly. Here’ the last one before we removed him!
Back to the main road after that but only for a few hundred metres before we decided to go river exploring again. We wanted to see how much work had been done on the riverside in the last couple of years. Now the last time we went this way we both ended up waist deep in the water. At least that didn’t happen this time. Our plan was being modified as we went. We had intended to cross the river and come back along real roads the other side. That turned out not be possible.
Having to find another way home because the central highway is now officially out of bounds, we explored again, and found yet another fish farm. They seem to be almost everywhere we have ever walked, except in the river itself of course! The detour that we had been forced to take saw us coming back in from the other side of the highway where a young entrepreneur had set up his little stall. He was selling the ubiquitous betel nuts of course, but much more importantly for us, ice cold water. By now, we had been three hours in the hot sun and we were both parched. Heaven! And before long, after another ten kilometre trek, we were home and dry. Well, not exactly dry, but home anyway.
October 15th Today’s plan, shopping and resting, nothing else to report!
October 16th Feeling a little worried today. I had gone to bed last night not feeling 100%, a little ‘wobbly’ even, and no alcohol was involved at all! This morning I still didn’t feel quite right, a little light headed. Perhaps the leeches of Sunday had emptied me? Still, I decided that a walk would not be amiss and would probably do me the ‘world of good’ as my Mam used to say. Just to be on the safe side though we stayed within easy reach of civilisation today. The first thing we spotted was a duck, who also appeared out of sorts, or at least lost. He was stood on this rock for ages looking upstream. I wondered if he had been accidentally pushed here by the river and was just waiting to go home again. Even the locals were amused by him.
We took a lot of photos on our way round the riverside but most of them you will have seen before. On the final stretch of San Yue San Da Dao, not far from home though, we passed a building that is no longer in use. It will no doubt be torn down soon and replaced by some modern monstrosity. What I liked about it though was that nature was slowly reclaiming it. There’s something rather special about that, at least in my eyes.
And so to bed, as they say. Well not quite yet, it’s still a little too early (8pm). I am happy to say that the cobwebs were successfully brushed away and I feel (almost) healthy again, in fact back to my normal state of health, (cough, wheeze etc)!
October 17th Today is Chongyang Festival (Double Ninth Festival), a day for people to eat Chongyang cake, drink chrysanthemum wine, climb mountains, and pay homage to chrysanthemums. For some it is also like a ‘mini Qing Ming day and respects are paid to ancestors. Since 1989 it has also been ‘Senior’s Day’ in Mainland China. More details can be found by following this link: - https://www.travelchinaguide.com/essential/holidays/chongyang.htm
As we are ‘seniors’ we decided that we would carry our part of the custom and walk uphill, but skip the rest. We went up to Tàipíng shuǐkù, 太平水库, the local drinking water reservoir. Lots of photos were taken and a video of our walk up there. We’ll only show you three though. First of all, some more of the local wildlife, a big spider! I was wondering why its underside was so brightly coloured. I couldn’t see its topside, at least not without leaning on the web, which although large, was probably not strong enough to support me! (PS We did spot another dead snake, probably a little more than twice the length of my sandal, but we thought we’d save you from that.)
Next up is a screen shot just to prove to you that we did actually walk to the top. Strangely enough we met a bunch of Chinese up there who thought it was amazing that a 68 year old Englishman could walk that far. They thought I must be very healthy!
We decided to come down via the 21 Hotel; the Chinese name is ‘Southern Summer Palace’ (南国夏宫 - Nánguó xià gōng). As luck would have it, it is still possible to access the hotel from the top without paying an entrance fee! A small bottle of water costs ¥3.00 so I wonder why they really need a fee, just to go in and walk up the mountain. Another video was taken down as far as the hotel, finishing with a view of the pool. Weather permitting, we may walk up to the hotel tomorrow and actually have a swim. We haven’t been this year yet. We can then join it with today’s video. Looks like I may be starting another topic on my videos, hotels.
On our way down we were accosted again, this time so that two gentlemen could have their photos taken with ‘the foreigner’. I obliged of course but it did get me thinking. How would Chinese tourists react in the UK if they were approached to have their photos taken with a Brit, just because they were foreigners! I gave that as a challenge on my video, it will be interesting to see if anyone in the UK takes it up. Of course while they were taking my photo, I was also videoing them, here’s the screen shot.
October 18th We had a plan. Guess what? It got changed. The plan was to walk up to the hotel mentioned above, have a swim, and then walk back down again. This would have meant I could have finished my Keymission video for the hotel, tried some underwater video of Huan swimming and maybe even tried out some shots with the Fuji. Ah well, not to worry.
Why did the plan change? The weather of course. The forecast was rain, all day, which in the end didn’t come until late afternoon. However, the hotel stayed under cloud cover all day so it’s just as well we didn’t go. In fact, Huan decided to stay at home today and busy herself with shoes, plants and general cleaning. This meant I was out all on my lonesome! Free! I behaved, naturally! I walked quite a lot faster than we usually would, the first 5 kilometres each less than 11 minutes, 6th, 8th 9th and 10th all less than 10 minutes, and the last half would have been less than 11 too. “What happened to the 7th kilometre?” I hear you ask. Well, I walked into an army of caterpillars, (yes, that is the correct collective noun). Why they were all falling out of the tree I have no idea. Perhaps someone can enlighten me? Here’s a screen shot of the video I took.
October 19th Great! Weather just nice today so our plan was back in place. We walked up to the Southern Summer Palace hotel, not quite as easy as it usually is though. I was carrying my rucksack containing our swimming stuff, towels, the Fuji camera and a tripod for some quick practice shots. Of course the trusty Keymission was also present so that we could finish our video for uploading to YouTube. This will be the first in the ‘Hotels’ series.
So what photographs should I show you, I took quite a lot today. How about one of the waterfall taken with the Fuji. I took it with everything on automatic. I’m not a fan of long exposure shots for waterfalls, I prefer to ‘see the action’. What do you think?
And here’s one of the outflow, again on automatic. Low light capability seems to be pretty good.
Next up is an underwater screen shot from a video taken with the Keymission. It’s the beautiful mermaid, (with two legs and no tail), Huan.
And finally, a panorama. This one was created by stitching together two panoramas straight from the camera (Fuji) resulting in something quite unique. Well, I think so anyway.
October 20th We decided we didn’t want to any hills today, we did enough of them on our last two shared walks. Huan suggested going down San Yue San Da Dao and coming back via the villages. Nice one I thought, I can get three ‘village videos’ in one day. Well I was almost right. Za biān cūn, 什边村was fine. All the villagers were out tidying up the verges, clearing a space of vegetation, (perhaps for a new house), and generally being very busy. Zalǐ cūn, 什里村was reasonable too, at least there were some people, chickens, pigs and dogs around this time. The third village, whose name we can’t agree on, was bigger and more interesting than the first two. I had my camera up all the way round, children talked to us, adults talked to us, lots of things to see etc. However, when we got home, only the first two videos were on my camera. I must have forgotten to switch it on. Dummy!
On our walk home along the riverside, we popped into one of my favourite places to buy some water. It’s one of my favourites because I get to talk to two of my friends, a dog and a cat. Today, the cat was sat in a fridge. It reminded me of something I keep asking Huan to do! You’ll have to work it out for yourselves I’m afraid, I’m not getting into trouble.
October 21st Today’s weather forecast was the same as yesterday’s so off we went, staying on the main roads though just in case. Guess what? Four and a half kilometres away from home, it started raining! We just turned round and walked home, not even 10 km today, boo hoo. I decided I would make a ‘rain video’ which is after all, one of the reasons I bought the Keymission in the first place. It started well but before too long the underwater lens cover became fogged up. I guess the rain was cold and the camera wasn’t. Perhaps I don’t actually need to use that lens cover if I’m not actually using the camera underwater? The internet is not much help there. That’s what I get for being a skinflint and not forking out the money for a GoPro. Anyway, here’s a screen shot from the beginning of the video, just after I’ve finished singing a line from “Singing in the rain”.
October 22ndA glorious morning today but no walking because it’s Monday. That means shopping and usually no photos as I’m sure you’re aware of by now. However, about six in the evening I heard a plaintive call from the living room, “It’s broken.” “What’s she done now?” was my first thought. Well when I went to see, one of the living room windows was all skew-whiff. (Do you know I always thought it was skee-whiff until I checked Google!) Despite my asking Huan not to touch the windows after I did the last repair she had decided to try and move the other one so she could clean it. One of the wheels completely disintegrated. Here’s a photo of the four wheels I took off, yes, there are four. The fourth one had almost completely disappeared.
Luckily I still had four of the replacements we had bought so I was able to repair the damage. It wasn’t easy! That window frame has a bulge in the middle so to get the windows out I had to cut bits of plastic off the bottom. Eventually all was successful and the windows are now back in place. I don’t think they’re going to fall on our downstairs neighbours! Here’s a couple of photos of me in DIY action again.
October 23rdAwake early today and on the road by seven o’clock. I started without Huan so could go a little faster, she joined me when I had almost completed seven kilometres. I still went fast when she joined me though until I had completed the first ten km, slowed down afterwards because I really was going too fast for her. That first ten kilometres took me one hour and forty five minutes, the last 3.68 took another forty eight minutes! Saw a little friend on the way, the photo is not as good as it should be, I was in too much of a hurry. If you look closely, you’ll see his little eyes looking up at the “eyeballs in the sky”.
October 24th A much more relaxed walk today, we didn’t even manage ten kilometres. I thought Huan needed less hard work than yesterday so we did less than nine kilometres in two and a quarter hours. Very slow eh? We did manage to get a photo for you though, another of Hainan’s little creatures. This one looks as though the Chinese high speed trains were modelled on it. I included my foot to give you an idea about the size; I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a big caterpillar!
October 25th Huan’s choice today for where to walk. She chose Chang Hao and as it’s quite a long walk but with no real hills to worry about I agreed with her. We hadn’t been going long before we met another little caterpillar, different to yesterday’s, quite pretty really.
As we are wont to do, we went off plan and took a side road. What did I say about no hills? You should see the Endomondo chart, as high as the local reservoir, if not a little higher. Some of the scenery was nice though.
Still in the middle of the mountains we came across another creepy crawly, this time another worm. Look at its size compared to my foot! It seemed to be struggling to cross the road so I found a forked twig and helped it. Mind you, when we left it in the undergrowth it wasn’t moving at all. Maybe it was feigning death to avoid the big bad monster me?
Today seems to have been a day for critters, we saw another one while waiting at the bus stop. “Bus stop?” I hear you ask. Yes, our little detour meant we had covered ten kilometres getting to Chang Shao instead of the usual seven, and a lot of that was uphill. We deserved a ride home! So, while we were sat there we saw this chap. He did disappear for a while then I felt a tickling on my calf and there he was valiantly scaling my leg! I should have taken a photo of that but I was in too much of a hurry to get him off just in case he was one of those who ‘gives you a rash’. He’s such a pretty chap, and agile with it, that I think he merits two pictures.
October 26th I let Huan choose again today and she chose the ‘countryside walk. This one can be short or long depending where we decide to walk but at least there are no real hills to worry about. Being in the countryside there is often a lack of shade so towards the end I took my shirt off and gave it to Huan as an extra sunshield. My shirt being soaking wet acts as a mini air-conditioner with any breezes there are. Somewhere along the way, while Huan was wearing my shirt, my glasses managed to jump out of the pocket! Should we try looking for them tomorrow?
Nothing else to report except another little creature. I’m really not sure what this one is at all. It looks almost like a silkworm larva that you see in supermarkets, just more dusty. A Facebook friend suggested it could be a woodlouse but there were no signs of legs or feelers. Whatever it was, it was moving incredibly slowly; if I had taken a video I would have had to speed it up to see any movement!
October 27th Did we or didn’t we? First answer - Yes we did. We retraced yesterday’s steps from home to where I gave Huan my shirt. We then took a different tack before doubling back to cover the same route home. Second answer – No we didn’t find the glasses. In other words, it was a spectacular failure! I know, I know, don’t give up my day job. As for creatures today, well we saw flat snakes, flat rats, flat frogs, quite a few centipedes, some butterflies and a bee. However, without my glasses on, the creatures were not able to be enlarged well enough. Instead, we’ll show you first a deviation of yesterday’s route. That long road goes around the mountain adding a few kilometres on to give us a nice long walk. Huan also fancies the house on the hill. What about you?
And finally, irrigation in action. I don’t know why, but I like this photo.
October 28th Exploring today! Before we started though, look what they have done outside our apartments. Just how many motorbikes do they think are going to park there? They also carry on the other side of the gate we were standing by but for some reason stop at the building after ours. Maybe they ran out of paint.
Anyway, back to our exploring, we took the landfill road and then turned off to look for a reservoir that we had been told was there, and that I had seen on my Endomondo satellite view. It’s quite a steep road, maybe steeper than our own local reservoir. I’d like to say that we made it there but I’m afraid we didn’t. The road we were following stopped! Later, at home, I found that we may have taken the wrong road so we’ll try again on another occasion.
While we were out, Huan had a phone call from one of our neighbours in the next building, we’d been invited out for lunch. I decided to show willing and agreed! Coming back down the mountain onto San Yue San Da Dao we spotted fences, tents, police, outside broadcast vans etc. The ‘Tour of Hainan’ was arriving from Lingshui today. I knew it was coming but last year it was 4th November so I was expecting the same date, not for once considering that they may go round a different way! Dummy! Anyway, their expected arrival was from one o’clock onwards so we missed them. We were busy having fun! A sleep was definitely needed when I got home, lunchtime drinking is not what it used to be!
October 29th I don’t know, if we have visitors from up north we drink gallons of beer and I feel fine in the morning, maybe just a little vacant. This morning I didn’t feel so well at all. Was it the single Báijiǔ Gānbēi, or was it the food? Who knows … Whatever, we decided to skip the start of the cycling today, we promise we’ll try harder next year.
It’s Monday too, so a shopping trip was necessary. In the afternoon I just did some work with Audacity, which for those who don’t know is an audio editing program. It’s amazing how many programs are on my PC that I know how to use only parts of them!
October 30thSuccess! We found the reservoir we had been looking for the day before yesterday. At one stage, talking to the locals just outside a pig farm, no one had any idea where it was. We found it the other side of the pig farm, about 50 metres away! We didn’t take any photos but if you check out the video on YouTube you’ll see where we went. Here’s a couple of screenshots.
On our way down the other side of the landfill road we decided to take a track out of the mountain top village. I’m glad we did, I’d be even more glad if I was a rich man! We wandered around a fish farm and stumbled onto someone’s farm. The lady in question was quite pleased to see us, maybe a little bored out there. Her farm covers 20 mu, (a Chinese measurement equating to just over 3¼ acres). She has been offered one million Renminbi but is hanging out for two. If I had the money, I’d be sorely tempted, despite the inherent problems. The land has a house that’s big enough, a fish farm, betel nut trees, (always good to make money here), a pepper farm and of course the usual ducks and chickens. The problems? Well, the small ones are: - you can't get a car within a kilometre of the house and there's no mains sewage. The big one is that you take a contract out with the local government, there are no title deeds. This means that you could end up in deep doodoo later on if the land is repossessed. Basically, you end up with nothing. Check out the YouTube video to see more. Meanwhile, here’s a couple of screen shots of the farm, (not very clear, I must have smudged the lens while changing the battery), and a photo of the peppers.
October 31stLast day of the month again and my only plan today was to have a nice relaxing walk with no hills and not to overburden you, dear readers, with too many photographs. Well, we succeeded on both points. It was a relaxing walk albeit a long one, 13.3 kilometres. All the way around we didn’t see anything worth taking photos of today, so success on the second part of the plan too. Up above, on October 28th, I posted a picture of new motorbike parking spaces. Well, we did see a few more of them today, it seems they are sprouting up everywhere! I would hazard a guess that we saw over a thousand new spaces today, some in places with no apparent reason for them to be there at all. Perhaps they had a surplus of paint? Or maybe it’s a devious plan to fine anyone who doesn’t use a parking space? Who knows… Anyway, we thought we couldn’t leave you with no photos at all today so we tried a quickie in the lift. Now, now, you naughty people, I meant a selfie. Unfortunately, it was rubbish!
So that means that’s all for now folks, don’t forget to check in next month to see how us old fogies are getting on. Bieeeee!