The Pick Up
We queued for the van ride in front of the Mingyuan Xindu Hotel. Boy is that a mouthfull. We rented a 10 passenger van and driver for the day, only 600 rmb (about $100) plus tip. Not sure if we paid the interpreter extra for this or not.
Hay! Hay! Hay!
We rode for about an hour to an agricultural area out of town. The driver asked for directions at least three times how get to this small community. The roads are horridly rough and the van had zero suspension in the rear. When I was 8 years old I would have loved it but after 50 something, oh my aching back! The whole trip was great though. LOL.
This part of China is very rainy and mostly agricultural in nature. We mentioned the clear skies to Cindy, the interpreter, and she informed us that there was hardly any heavy manufacturing in this area. It also seems that most of the transportaion is either electric bikes or pedestrian. It was not clear this day as it rained most of it. I had to hide under bamboo overhangs to use the camera and keep it dry.
If it Works Why Change
Except for the concrete work, this town could have been here for a thousand years. We passed many water buffalo the locals use for farming. Farmers still carry their products down the road on carts or on their backs. We passed many on the way to this place along with farmers hoeing the crops like it has been done for thousands of years. They were working in the rain!
Jan and Lou were able to walk a short while with us on these paved roads even though it was raining. You cannot tell it because it was a soft rain. They would have used their electric scooters but no batteries. Thank you Shaiman Airlines.
We stopped at a very nice restaurant on the way back to our hotel. Joe tells Cindy, "Take us to where you would eat good food." Again, the interpreter comes through. Jan bought the eight of us a fine dinner we all shared. Eating like kings ( emperors?) the meal cost about $55.00 U.S. This included two kinds of chicken, a beef plate, two kinds of vegetables, noodles, rice for all, thai fish soup, corn pizza?, and all the drinks.
It is a contest to see who can eat the most with Luke and Olivia a close pair. Although they hold the chopsticks, neither can use them except as drumsticks.