|Jing Hong to Hong He, Yunnan, China||Week 9 20th - 21st June 2011|
| Back to filling water tanks the next morning.
The tap needed a shifting spanner to open. The hotel staff had a tap handle.
Water tanks full. Loo cassettes empty. Ready for more challenges.
| Well not quite.
Breakfast first, and a bit of planning.
| Leaving Jint Hont we crossed the Mekong on the same bridge
we entered on.
This is to be our last sighting of the Mekong.
Not so much river traffic this far up. It also changed its name to Lancang.
| We have seen some of the signs of an industrial scale
In the center distance here is a brick kiln. A very conventional looking one (at least to our unpractised eyes).
| More dancing at the Wild Elephant Valley.
The dance was conducted at a fast walking pace which would have tired us out.
Dai minority dance.
Dancing reminiscent of R, a Thai friend in Brisbane.
|An audience like anywhere else in the world.|
| Another minority group. Men and women, both with long
The dancing involved various moves with the hair.
|Like all tourists we went for a gondola ride. Above the canopy. About 40 minutes.|
| At the end we were rewarded with sighting of a Gibbon.
Similar to the one we saw at Bolaven Plateau in Laos.
Not sure if its the quite the same but at least has very long arms and a beard.
|This character was in the butterfly house.|
| And at last we saw an Asian elephant. With only the
audience and trainers between us and it.
The elephant museum was interesting.
Now we know that there were once elephants in New Zealand (but not Australia).
We couldn't find anyone to ask "are you sure?".
|Camp for the night was in the drive of a house chosen at
Just after we'd eaten we were invited in for a meal. Bother.
We sat outside for a chat later.
The family had tea, coffee and rubber trees. Husband, wife, two children plus grandmother.
The children knew what sweets are.
Tea gardens at last.
Hillsides of them.
The extent of the tea gardens allows us to call it "industrial scale". Far from cottage industry.
|The blue bags have bananas in them.
The bananas are in the bags on the trees. Just like in Aus.
So far in SE Asia that has not been the case.
|Breakfast of noodles.
Almost instant. Pick a bowl, put some noodles in, transfer to hot water, add a few veggies, serve.
| Our campsite was at the head of the valley. As we followed
the river the roads became more populated.
We passed a driving school. This is one of their many vehicles. We lost count.
First practical lessons are in roads inside the driving school compound. Later, several students at a time are taken out on real roads.
Since there is little family history of driving, or even car ownership, in China the driving schools have to start assuming no knowledge or experience.
Difficult to see but the tar mixture is being raked by hand, held and guided by one person but pulled by several.
A strange (to us) mixture of mechanisation and manual labour.
| There are frequent "water stations" which the
trucks stop at to fill up with water.
The steam to the left of this truck is from water sprayed on the brakes for cooling. Probably also cools the tyres.
The trail of water left on the road was useful for knowing there was a truck somewhere in front.
We couldn't hear any evidence of exhaust brakes.
The roads and hills are considerably different to what we are used to. One stretch of expressway was continuously downhill for 27km.
|More expressway.We had a long way to climb.
All in 4th gear for the Tardis fortunately and not a hint of temperature rise.
|And then go down.
4th gear again.
|The entrance to a town.
Nearly missed the speed humps at the bottom of this hill. The bus slowing and wobbling alerted us. There were several quite vicious bumps which successfully slowed the traffic.
|We were looking for a country road but instead found this
new regional highway.
A huge feat of engineering anywhere in the world. High on the side of the valley.
The valley was already quite dry and stark. Not sure what happened to the vegetation.
It even looks more stark than the surrounding valleys in satellite photos.
There was some dredging in the river.
|From our campsite at Hong He.|
|Same as our first meal we selected a soup and two other
This time a minced beef dish and a bitter melon dish.
With rice and tea, of course.
|More than we could eat.|
|From the restaurant we watched the sun on the hills, and this gentleman carrying waste polystyrene in the ubiquitous balanced baskets.|
|The town lined the top of the ridge.|
|Hani Rice Terraces, Yuan Yang, China||Week 9 22nd June 2011|
|Dany||Mon, 11 Jul 11 21:08:06 +1000|
|IJWTS wow! Why can't I think of tignhs like that?|