NOTE: I am actually posting this on Monday night and am not able to attach photos quite yet. The internet I do have is sketchy at best and isn't quite up to sending photo files. I will try and post them later.
It's Saturday night and we have finally found a hotel in China which doesn't have internet! We have had a very busy and fun day, though! We started off in FengHuang and one remarkable thing about the morning was that we had no power in the hotel. Apparently, there are 2 main grids for the city. Once grid, the one our hotel is NOT on, had some maintenance and was turned off on Friday. This morning, the other grid, the one our hotel is on, had it's turn for maintenance. The big deal for us was that we couldn't make hot water for our coffee (the electric kettle wouldn't work, of course). The other thing, we couldn't check emails (horrors!). We set out to the other part of the city, the part which had power, and found a cafe to have some coffee, it was pricey coffee, in fact it was cappuccino, but it was yummy and hot. The girls had hot cocoa. The cafe had a riverside view, and that was nice. After coffee, we bought some biscuits and juice and had a "stuff from packages" breakfast. All of our tummies were a little bit off from our adventurous eating last night, so we didn't want to put more challenging food inside, we just stuck to biscuits (digestive biscuit type things) and juice...oh, and some Lonely God Snack chips, a new favorite. The girls will say, "Ohhhhh, poor Lonely God...". We're easily entertained, I guess...
After breakfast and packing up again, we were ready for our next adventure. We had to walk about 3 blocks to the next major intersection, catch a taxi which took us to the bus station. Then, thanks to Jorg's fine Mandarin skills, we got a bus ticket to Jishou. The bus left about 5 minutes after we got on, and we were in Jishou about and hour and 15 minutes later. We had a few stops along the way, one was because the bus driver wanted to buy a watermelon that he later stopped and gave to some woman. When we arrived at the Jishou bus station, we learned that we would have to go to another bus station to buy a ticket to Dehang. The man at the bus station flagged a vehicle for us-a 3 wheeled motorcycle wagon. We could all fit: Jorg in the front with the driver, the two girls on the bench seat, and me in the back perched on a suitcase. Perfect! The bus station we had to go to was by the train station, only 3 KM away, so we just had a short journey to get there.
At the new bus station, Jorg found that there was a bus leaving to Dehang and there were still seats available, so we piled in, our luggage in the back compartment. The ride there was only about an hour, and we made a few stops for people to get on or get off. We had to pay 7 Yuan each for the ride (the exchange rate is 6 and a bit to the dollar right now). When we arrived in Dehang, we were directed to go over a bridge and walk down a pathway to where we came to another bridge. I waited by the bridge with the girls while Jorg went to go ask if we could get a room. He was in luck, and the first place he asked had a place for us to stay, 2 nice rooms with 2 beds in each room, a shared toilet and a hot shower, all for 80 Yuan per room. Perfect! We got set up in the rooms and then, after a rest, started out on a little hike. After asking around a bit, we found a pathway out into a valley that took us through rice and corn fields, up a small canyon by a river and then, our reward, was a waterfall. We could only stay at the waterfall a short time, because it was getting dark. This pathway was so peaceful and quiet, we only met a few other travelers on the way. It would have pristine, except for the fact that there was a flood only a short time ago and all the flotsam and jetsam from any of the mountain villages got brought down the mountain and the trash and residue was stuck in the reeds and branches on the sides of the stream. If one would only over look this, the pathway was extremely beautiful and as good as any hike one would want to take. A+ hike, would take again.
After our hike, we had some dinner-a simple meal from our hotel kitchen, green beans, some sort of green leaf vegetable, tofu, smoked pork (delicious!!) and rice. A Spanish couple came and ate there as well, and we talked with them for a bit. Jorg stayed and talked longer and I took the girls up stairs for a shower and bed. It's 11:00 now, and I will end this by saying that I really am enjoying our time in Dehang.
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