Wednesday, 29 August 2007

We have been climbing! Yangshuo.

We are now on our fourth day in Yangshuo and are settling into life here. Although very humid and hot we have been hiring bicycles and cycling along the flat roads and tracks through paddy fields to the local crags. Some good climbing has been had, although nothing too hard yet (soo hot) and Jo has been leading routes as well.

Out of focus photo if me on a 5.10d, must do better (photos and grade!)

The countryside around here is really scenic. Rock towers, the river, Ox in fields and locals in typical Chinese hats. The town has loads of places to eat, drink and be asked again and again if you want whatever. Then quite the main street even looks nice.

River and hills from Yangshuo

West Street, Yangshuo.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Hue Shan

Our plan was to walk up the mountain at night to see sun rise at the top. Maybe due to my impatience to get going or maybe because we are so fit (maybe not) be climbed the almost endless steps and get to the East Peak by 1am (took 4 1/2 hours). So we had to wait a while for sunrise wearing shorts, t-shirt and think fleece. For once it was cold in china, perhaps due to the 2000m+ altitude and a slight wind.

At the summit of South Peak- the highest.

Jo, with view and some of the millions of padlocks and red ribbons left for good luck

The endless steps

Do you really need a sign to tell you this?


Note - no sunrise due to cloud :-(

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Xi'an and the Army of Terracotta Warriors

Xi'an and the Army of Terracotta Warriors

The Great Wall

Amazing views all around during the hot 10km walk along the wall.

Photos of Beijing

Lonely Planet Cycle tour

Dinning out at a market - cheep, easy and good.

Photos of Beijing

I can't read the blog, but can you?

So after spending 4 days in Beijing, visiting the Great Wall, Forbidden City etc we took a short flight to Xi'an. Xi'an seems and feels like a lot nicer city - smaller, cleaner and easier for tourists, with more English on signs and things.
We have got into a good hostel, on spec, and after wasting 2hrs at the train station trying to get a ticket to Guilin we were told they are all booked for the next 10 days (i think to black market travel agents). We have now bought another 60 pound flight for Saturday instead.
We plan to go to Hue Shan tomorrow and make a cooler night ascent and come back here the next day. We'll see how that goes - 8km of steps at night for a dawn on the summit.

Today we did a trip to the trip to the Army of Terracotta Warriors. They were pretty amazing, hundreds of these full size figures all in line. The shutter button on my camera got a hammering!
Unfortunately my card reader is in the dorm and there is a cue for the free computers, so i can't show you now.

The weather is still very humid here and there is still plenty of smog. Someone told us that Beijing is trailing a scheme that only lets odd number plated cars on the roads one day and even the next - and sure enough it was true. Weird, but at least they are recognising they have a problem.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

The Great Wall

The first few days have been busy, and i've only figgered out how to get on this blog in the last few mins of my internet time. So i'll put up the photo of Jo on the Great Wall from yesterday and maybe fill in other details later. The views were excellent and the 10km walk was hot. We even went down a zip slide from the top at the end.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Stashing our gear, Police car crashes and doing a runner.

Having spent the last two weeks travelling up and down the country stashing our belongings in various locations we were nearly there when in slow moving traffic an unmarked police car drives out of the station and into the side of my car. And no, it did not have lights flashing.
Result - both doors and rear side panel dented in only days before attempting to sell it before we leave the country and only one day after waxing it and getting it MOTed. Thanks Sheffield Police!?

Thanks to everyone that has helped us out in the last few weeks - storing our things, putting us up and hopefully selling the car after it has been fixed.

We're off to Beijing tomorrow and can't wait.