Day 7: Chinese Rapunzel

Mountain rice terraces

Mountain rice terraces

Day 7 – China Travel Journal

Thursday, April 18, 2013 – Ping’an to Dazhai

Morning:

Woke up to bright sunlight assaulting my eyes and a rooster. Terrible creature. Raining a bit, but not too hard. Hopefully it will soon stop. The air is fresh, the breeze soft, the mountaintops are now hidden in mist. Peaceful. Well, except for that damned rooster and the constant noise of wood saws.

Frank’s cold is deeply entrenched. I’m not sure hiking yesterday for over four hours in the sweltering heat was such a good idea.

Setting off soon for our long hike to Dazhai.

Afternoon:

Now sitting in Hongliu, a small village deserted because everyone is either working the fields or in school. The old women must rustle up tourists. That’s what happened to us, they started following us right before we came to a wooden covered bridge. Once we had stopped, they would not leave us alone until we assented to having lunch at their house. They are of the Yao minority, with their famous long hair. They wear mostly black with a few colors mixed in, mostly hot pink. We’re at the halfway point, we think, to Dazhai.

I'm 5'3" and Chris is 6'6", as a comparison to the petite Yao women. Don't be fooled, they could win in arm wrestling against anyone

I’m 5’3″ and Chris is 6’6″, as a comparison to the petite Yao women. Don’t be fooled, they could win in arm wrestling against anyone

Now we sit in this hulking house of dark wood, drinking our warm beer. I smell burning and see tendrils of smoke. They’ve finally started the cooking fire. Patience, relax.

Yao women making us lunch in their simple kitchen

Yao women making us lunch in their simple kitchen

The hike thus far has been strenuous, but fantastic. Long stretches going uphill with no break, and the sweat drips off my face, but this is better than lying around a resort. We are lucky with the weather, although it changes quickly between strong sun and cold shade. But anything is better than hiking in a downpour.

Mini pony!

Mini pony!

Newly flooded rice paddy

Newly flooded rice paddy

Mountain house with drying corn

Mountain house with drying corn

Afternoon:

Lunch turned out to be good. Sweet potato sliced thin and fried, greens and eggs, and fresh bamboo shoots.

We left Ping’an at 9:00 this morning, and now it’s 16:00. We are staying at the first hotel we came across, Da yao zhai Tavern, when we ambled into town. Ah, western toilets and a desktop computer in the room! For 80 RMB a night (13 USD), a crazy good deal.

New pine multi-family homes, most of which rent out rooms to tourists

New pine multi-family homes, most of which rent out rooms to tourists

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