Day 4: Touring China by Bicycle,
Today We Pedal from Qing Yuan to Jiu Long
1/2 Day, then Boat Ride to a Remote Village.
Navigating through an active Chinese Village.
Watching old crafts and skills in a remote Chinese Village.
Day 4 Begins
A few things are happening:
Dennis will Ride the Bus for half a day because of his bruised and swollen right hand injury (see yesterdays adventure).
Most of the morning pictures are from Terry.
We are finally getting through our 14 hour time zone change (called Jet Lag; we are exhausted at 7 PM but wake up at 2AM) Go figure.
We are washing our own laundry; because we were told that no services are available for the entire tour and that even though the hotel could do the laundry it would take 24 hours to turn around - this turns out to be miss-communicated information; meanwhile washing our own clothes takes a couple hours each evening. Because of the high humidity clothing must be well wrung by hand and then wrung-twisted in a towel (or else it will not dry in time); not by accident, all of our bike clothing is synthetic and dries faster than organic clothing. We are building character, wink.
Meanwhile, fun adventures ensue!
Above Left: Bike and Personal Preparation. Gordon and Inga in the foreground, Terry on the near right.
Above Right: 3 ton load on a 1 ton truck. We saw a lot of vehicle overloading. There is an overloaded truck on the side of the road every 10 kilometers, or so, with a flat or blown tire.
Above: Work Co-Op.
Above Left: Animal Scare Flags.
Above Right: Blue Vine Flower, maybe Morning Glory.
Above Left: Red Flower Shrub.
Above Right: Sharon and Terry passing by Dennis.
Above Left: Countryside.
Above Right: Daisies.
Above Left: Chickens.
Above Right: Tunnel at a pass to protect from falling debris.
Above Left: Entering a small town - Lots going on.
Above Left: Geese and ducks for sale.
Above Right: Grandmother going home from the market.
Above Left: One ton City SUV Bicycle has everything.
Above Right: Screening Sand for Cement Use.
Above Left: Grandmothers and Grandchildren.
Above Right: Garden Flowers.
Above Left: Village of Rice Planters.
Above Right: Rice close-up, nearly ripe.
Above: Sharon and Regina: Many crops in the field; mountains becoming more numerous and the valley is getting smaller; visibility is getting better and humidity is decreasing.
This picture, by Terry, looks like a World Expedition Travel Advertisement!
Above: Bamboo Shoots, unrolled, flattened, and drying.
Above: Roadside Flowers.
Above: This side of the pass.
Above: The other side of the pass.
Above Left: Nice View.
Above Right: Groomed and Managed Forest Resources.
Above Left: Papya.
Above Right: Orange.
Above Left: Entering the town of Jiu Long.
Above Right: Home for the night.
Above Left: Lunch (L-R): Regina, Wayne, Iris, and Inga.
Agenda: Pedal through Town, to the North, to a River Confluence with an
Old Electrical Generating Facility (perhaps Russian Engineered),
Then Boat to a Remote Family Clan Compound.
Above Right: Cycling through Jiu Long to the North. Our Cyclists are the colorful Bikers at center top. Note the drying plants on the road side. Note: for every picture shown, there are about nine more un-shown images.
Above Left: Entrance to the River Station, dammed up for electrical power generation.
Above Right: Power plant on the left, Boat Fleet House to the right.
Above Left: Old Water Driven Electrical Turbine Generator Power Plant (likely Russian Engineered). The facility is heavy duty and will likely last generations with no maintenance but it probably put out enough energy to once power the valley but now it may only power a block of village homes.
In the way of things Chinese Personal Responsibility for Safety, this plant is wide open and visitors are not seen as a threat to the continuous operation of the facility - we can wonder around as much as we feel safe.
Above Right: Dammed up river water, channeled in to drive the turbine.
Above Left: We're ready for a boat ride; one size fits all. L-R: Dennis, Sharon, Jon, Chrissy, Linda, Wayne (as in John), and Gordon!
Above Right: Water Boarding.
Above Left: Eons of mineral deposits pools.
Above Right: Drying Fish. For reasons unknown, there are no air or land animal problems here.
Above Left: Great-Grand-Mother and probably the Family/Clan Matriarch, brings us up to date. Corn, grain, and other vegetables in the background
Above Right: Partial view of the family compound; one man building large baskets (the kind of basket used for shipping/carrying small farm animals, other baskets are out of sight) - more basket making pictures follow.
Above Left: Family member bringing partially dried bamboo stock into the compound for trimming into bamboo basket weave slices.
Above Right: Some final basket products; lids also exist elsewhere.
It seems that every village, no matter how remote, has a large cement pad for the use of communal commerce and/or social events (usually about a 50 meter square).
Above Left: Drying tree beans.
Above Right: Inside the compound, a road like court yard with water drainage.
Above Left: Village/Clan women grinding Soy to make Soy Milk.
Above Right: Village/Clan man trimming bamboo to make basket weaving stock.
Above Left: Compound Entrance/Exit. Note the domestic animal entrance/exit for when the main door is closed.
Above Right: This is a muzzle for a cow or water buffalo.
Above Left: Grandma and Grandchild return from an adventure.
Above Right: View from our hotel. It is difficult to see, but some apartments have roof top gardens and many dwellings have solar hot water collectors.
The government owns all homes and people rent them from the government with contracts that last no longer than 70 years - It's a form of control and tax revenue. There are special incentives for building a new home or apartment and most government property management is conducted at the local level. The government does move people on occasion for implementing plans for the greater good (like when rivers are dammed or when transportation byways are created).
Above Left: A small group of us cyclists take a walk in the evening and we come across a Western Styled Pharmacy. The English Title looses something in translation. Vince tells us that younger people generally use the Western type of Pharmacy while older Chinese us the traditional Medical Herbalist - Terry, a physician, has seen good results from both.
Above Right: Fire Bricks (a mix of charcoal and clay) are used for heating homes and for cooking. During the hot season, most cooking is performed outdoors under an open sided covered roof (or else it gets the dwelling too hot).