Friday, December 4, 2015

September 27, 2015 Renhuai to Fuguan

Today did not start well.  It rained hard overnight and was misting by the time we left the hotel.  Of course construction mud was part of the morning grind as well.  At one point, we had quite a bit of fishtail going on, but David pulled us through in an upright position.  Both he and I have had enough of this mess!  Then we see the beautiful terraced hillsides through the mist... maybe let's keep going another day.

A few nice switchbacks get the blood pumping...

While we would have preferred sunshine for these pictures, southern China is still beautiful even in mist and clouds.  We are reminded daily that trucks rule the road...

We passed through a series of small towns in the morning, and with that comes traffic and traffic jams, sometimes caused by large trucks trying to make way through narrow streets where two regular vehicles cannot pass, much less large trucks.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!  Today is a Chinese harvest festival.  They celebrate with a delicacy called moon cakes.  We tried them in Chengdu – they are very heavy and not to our taste.  But the Chinese like a good party, usually with a lot of fire crackers.  The firecrackers come in large rolls, and produce a long and prolonged noise - those are firecrackers in the window.

Some scenes from our rural travels…

Including an overturned car.  The roads are elevated two to six feet off the ground everywhere - hard t see in the pictures, but this is pretty standard.  I’m surprised we haven’t seen more accidents like this. There is actually an motorcycle that was hit, down in the field in front of the overturned car.

Market day was humming... and we drew our usual crowd...

We stopped for lunch across the street from a farmer's market.  Fresh bananas and tangerines were just the thing for a quick meal.  We spent a bit of time looking around the market, but mostly we tried to answer questions from the few English speakers in the crowd around the bikes, and took lots of pictures with the locals.

Happy pigs, for now...

We always try to head out of town when the crowds reach the point of causing major traffic problems.  Today we followed a pair of pigs.

The afternoon scenery and switchback riding outdid the morning.  We had hardly any construction for most of the afternoon.  Hooray!

Coming through a tunnel, we passed over a bridge, with the Wu River a thousand feet below.  It was one of the most beautiful river scenes we’ve seen on the trip.

Today is the harvest festival, and all day long we saw signs of a good harvest.  Corn is either stacked outside, or drying on the lower floors.

Preparations for the Mid-Autumn Festival are underway.  These pipers were practicing outside.

Coal is the primary heating fuel in China, but I'm not sure what this business is going to do with all that coal!

We’ve had problems with our GPS for the last few days, so are forced to follow John’s lead.  The problem is that a lot has changed in the last year.  He’s had to stop a few times, to get his bearings and we’ve made a few U-turns as well.  

 I don’t think we really meant to come in on this promenade.

Then, when we did get on a street, it was crowded with market-goers.  We couldn’t make the right turn we wanted, so all nine big BMW motorcycles made a U-turn and headed back down the street to try a different way.

Down the street and a quick left and we were soon at our hotel for the evening.

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