A Travellerspoint blog

Posa chimes in...

thoughts about travel and life

sunny 75 °F

It's really fun. But not when you have to take yucky medicine! My mom says all the food is spicy here--but not all of it. Why would breakfast be spicy? It's not!

Posted by Posa 08:54 Archived in India Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

India

The raw reality of a billion people...

sunny 75 °F

Harsh.
We finally made it out to explore a bit of Delhi today, after it seemed safe that no one would have to rush to the potty or puke in my lap on the subway. We headed out to maybe see a movie and find some good food--of course, in a mall. We can't escape long from the global truth of SHOPPING.
We arrived late to our hotel so we didn't get to see much of the street life. Everyone commented that during the drive from the airport, we were all waiting to get to the "nice" part of town, and were silently shocked when we turned into a gated block and stopped in front of the hotel. This perhaps WAS the nice part of town?
Anyway we were antsy to get out this afternoon and learn the city. The two block walk to the subway was quite an introduction. We were escorted to the subway by the hotel clerk, Raj--what a cool cat! He glided through the streets and never broke his casual, easy, unfazed stride. We, of course, were scuttling along trying to not be freaked out by the onslaught of stimulation to our senses. All the stories are true, and right outside our door--the smell of sewage everywhere (people peeing everywhere we look and probably the other right behind that car), filthy mothers sitting at the side of the road in the dirt nursing sickly babies with huddled children next to her, packs of skinny dogs dodging traffic, men leering at us, cars whizzing around honking honking honking, scooters going every which way, men fighting and slapping each other, shacks and squalor right next to the shopping mall, but most of all--the smell...ooohhh....so harsh. This makes everything we have seen seem totally tame.

It's great to be here. Seriously. I am so glad we get to see this world and the people here.
They certainly don't mind getting a good, long, unabashed stare at us!
love YO

Posted by MamaYo 08:16 Archived in India Tagged family_travel Comments (8)

The Lost Days!

What day is it--matter of fact what city are we in?

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Well we made it to Delhi from China. Somewhere between it seems we stopped in Hong Kong (Though technically China posses HK- it is still treated as its own place and rightfully so-China is smart to think if it isn't broke don't fix it, from what I saw in the rest of China). Hong Kong is a fully developed international metropolitan city like Tokyo or New York - not like Beijing ( but they are trying hard to get there). The kids and I wouldn't really know because we spent the better part of our time there in the fetal position hoping for the stomach bug to pass. Of course just when we are flying to Delhi, about 2 hours before arrival, Po decided to get in on the fun!! Luckily Yo and I were pros at this, we had a flight to Hawaii with the older kids that was similar when she was pregnant with Po. Upon arrival well lets just say "culture shock" does not quite sum it up. We thought China was crazy--I think this is going to be out of mind. Colleen met us at the airport so now instead of reading the blog she will be living the blog, and it looks like our tour will definitely live up to the standards that we have already set. Today we rest and recoup , nursing everyone back to health and planning the rest of our whirlwind tour around this country. The good thing is that Yo and I both said to each other that we have an air of excitement about being here--we are someplace completely new. And for me I feel that the fear of being out in the ether is gone. Just stay happy and enjoy the ride, be quick to forgive and forget and don't sweat the small stuff--wait I think I am turning into Tony Robbins. Actually, though I am having the trip of a lifetime I could use a night or two in my own bed, house and mountains-And every time we skype Val and Buff they are cooking dinner-ouch!! I could use a mexican feast/ bar-b-que like nobodies business. It is going to be an unbelievable week of feasts and celebration when we get back. I do have some amazing Indian feasts awaiting me and the colors and culture will be unforgettable!!!

Posted by sherpaBen 22:02 Archived in India Tagged family_travel Comments (2)

Sick Bay, Hong Kong

4 down--mom holding strong!

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Well, we thought we managed to escape China without the dreaded travel flu--but we got snagged at the last minute on the last flight out of the country. DRATS!
I guess the chicken on the plane was bad, really bad, bc at midnight everyone started blowing out both ends.
I was already in hyper alert mode bc Posa went nuts at dinner with an earache. I suspect her minor cold escalated due to the two flights yesterday. I was preparing for another all-nighter with a feverish, crying babe--but not for everyone else to fall apart. It was a rough 8 hours for those guys. I decided to call the doctor today bc they couldn't seem to stop for more than twenty minutes, and the level of sickness seemed really INTENSE. I've seen food poisoning and this was the absolute worst ever ever ever. So scary!!! A, Ben, and Rae are dosed on anti-vomit meds and kaolin pectin and totally passed out. Hopefully they awaken feeling better. Poor Posa is burning up with a 102.7 fever, but no ear infection thankfully.
At least we are somewhere that I can communicate easily. Plus we ended up in a hotel with a kitchenette! We have two days to nurse everyone back to health before we take off for India. I had planned lots of great stuff for Hong Kong, but I think a few days of rest is in order right now.

Posted by MamaYo 22:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (13)

The last days in China

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It was worth the effort to get all the way up here to Shangri-la. I knew we couldn't get in to visit Tibet bc the visas are very restricted right now. I've always felt a strong connection with the Tibetan people--since we were so close here in China, I wanted to rub shoulders with their culture and so, here we are on the Tibetan doorstep...and even in the living room! I'll explain later...

Today we were so fortunate to be at the Songzanling Monastery this morning. It was first built in 1679 and parts have been destroyed and reconstructed several times (communism 1949/cultural revolution 1969/tourism 2010). It sits at an elevation of 10,827 feet! We certainly felt it today as we huffed up the stairs.
Up to the temple

Up to the temple


It was a great surprise to show up this morning and find thousands of Tibetan people dressed in their finest, marching up the road to the monastery. We finally found someone to explain the festival to us--it is to honor and celebrate the future return of the Maitreya Buddha. A statue is paraded around the monastery with a procession of monks stopping to do prayers at four sacred directions. Everyone was bringing offerings and gifts to the monks--even this friendly guy that let Posa pet his head!
Friendly chicken for dinner

Friendly chicken for dinner

It was quite a mob scene when the Buddha passed by us. But everyone was happy and smiling and so lovely to look at!!
Buddha being bombarded by katas

Buddha being bombarded by katas

waiting with the locals

waiting with the locals

just one of many outlandish hats today

just one of many outlandish hats today

posa's viewpoint

posa's viewpoint

Festival attire

Festival attire


Lots of people were visiting their sons at the monastery. I was told that the entire village will come to build a house when a monk from their village is accepted to study here. Unfortunately the government has decided it is a great tourist attraction and now charges almost 20 bucks a person to go visit! They have also torn down the main temple bc it was too old...BTW the monastery does not receive the profit from the entrance fee. It is so wrong. Everywhere here in Shangri-la the gov. is trying to capitalize on the western interest in Tibet, while at the same time keeping their thumb tightly down on the people. Today no one was allowed to drive into the monastery--we all ahd to load up into busses, and once there the police presence was everywhere. Apparently any large gathering of Tibetans is threatening to the government. The shop signs are required to be written in Tibetan. It is ironic though bc they only number 10% of the population here now after the influx of Chinese hoping to capitalize on the tourism have moved here in droves in the last 13 years. The population has gone from 50,000 to 300,000 people. Amazing!
on the bus

on the bus

We then we out of town to another village to see another very small monastery (only 5 monks compared to hundreds). There were prayer flags covering the mountaintop as far as we could see!
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prayer flags

And we passed these two women doing full prostrations in the dust barefoot. They will circle around the monastery a number equal to their age. I know nothing of devotion.
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prostrations

We stopped in the village and Yunxin asked a young woman if we could visit her house. (Can you imagine just asking a stranger hey can we come over for tea and snacks?) But the people are so open and friendly here this is fine! So we got to go inside the beautiful house I had been longing to explore. They are HUGE--about 4000 sq ft!! Two stories high and traditionally the animals had the lower level and the family lived upstairs--now typically the animals stay in another house bc they young people don't like the smell. The timbers are massive and everywhere is painted with bright colors and designs. It was like living in a rainbow house. I loved it! We sat down to tasty Yak butter tea with two old great-grandmas--late 70's? They were happy to know that I have four generations of women in my family too. They all live there in that house together though...not quite the same in our world! It was warm and toasty inside, sitting beside a fire in the kitchen/living room.
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living area

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outside tibetan house


The kids entertained everyone by playing ro-sham-bo and practicing leaps across the huge wood floor. Arella couldn't be coaxed into doing any ballet though we all begged. As we were leaving, the granddaughter's daughter came home from romping about the village with a pack of other two-four year olds. Her mom had the same bright red cheeks as did many women we saw today. It's a lovely feature.
posa and friend

posa and friend

We really had a great last day and feel like we got the cultural experience we hoped to find here.
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drive by shot of valley

Adri spinning the prayer wheels

Adri spinning the prayer wheels

Ringah Monastery

Ringah Monastery

Tibetan house building

Tibetan house building

Posted by MamaYo 06:49 Archived in China Tagged family_travel Comments (8)

Messege From Posa

sunny 45 °F

I liked going to the pet shop in Beijing because i got to touch the animals! I found this girl named named Lucy when we were at the house of our guy who shows us around. He still shows us around. But now i cant see that girl. We were friends. She was 11. She left because she had to go back to school. She had a puppy. She had chickens but she killed them. I liked the buffet at the top of the hotel that we were staying in. Its really nice to be on trips.

Special Message to Ava:

Ava, I miss you to. I hope I get home fast so we can play together this summer! Maybe you can come to my birthday to!

Love Posie

I miss everyone.

Love,
Posa :)

Posted by Posa 04:35 Archived in China Tagged family_travel Comments (5)

Shangri La

Well not really sure?

sunny 45 °F

Here we are in our ceturies old house coverted to a hotel and restaurant, the smell of MSG wafting up to our deck overlooking the courtyard. We would not be sitting here if they had not enclosed the whole thing with corrugated clear plastic panels (reminds me of the "man room" at the Uplands house) creating a greenhouse effect-the temp here is probably close to 42-45. We are all bloated from the MSG from the last few weeks-the smell is now unmistakable and we all cringe at it. The drive in was beautiful. We are on the edge of Tibet. Yaks crossing the street and large Tibetan designed houses with prayer flags flying and a little tree on top of the roofs. I say not sure if it isShangri La because that is what the local govt changed the name to proclaiming it the place that James Hilton wrote about in the novel Lost Horizon. Many other places nearby argue that they are the place but this town has put the bank on it. Tomorrow we visit one of China's oldest monastaries. It is beautiful country up here-we have definitely seen many different angles of China. One thing is for sure though- Yo and I are both ready for Indian food!

Posted by sherpaBen 02:32 Archived in China Comments (4)

Dr. Who?

sunny 70 °F

Black Dragon pool

Black Dragon pool

It was a beautiful warm day for a bike ride under bright blue skies with the majestic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain towering in the distance. Getting out of the city was intense--but the seven mile uphill against the wind ride was really hard and comical. Adrian's bike was a true "clunker", with every pedal turn his cranks clanked and whined--almost as much as he did! We did our best to race ahead of the coal trucks, or maybe they were carrying bricks, that were spewing out noxious black smoke that looked like coal smudge. They would pass us and leave us struggling to hold our breath until the wind cleared it away. But hey! It was a grand adventure anyway.P1010101

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no helmet no seat Chinese style!

no helmet no seat Chinese style!

We ended up at Baisha Village which has recently been opened up to tourists. There is a very famous (or "very famer" as Pam, the desk clerk in Chengdu would say) Chinese doctor named Dr. Ho who lives there. We got the opportunity to meet him. His office was cluttered with hundreds and hundreds of tattered articles and photocopied letters about him. He was close to 90 with old watery bluish eyes and a scraggly white beard. We could barely understand him as he kept shoving different papers into our hands insisting we look at everything. He is a self taught botanist/acupucture doctor who has an amazing knowledge of thousands of local herbs from the jade Dragon mountain. I guess he is well regarded in the international community for his cancer curing herbal remedies. He offered to make us a special tea, but I told him we are healthy already. In this case he referred us to drink his very special healthy tea blend and invited us to see the medicine room. Yunxin told us that when the French people go there it takes much longer bc there are so many articles in French that he has to show off. It was all pretty weird and funny, but I was happy to buy his bag of herbs and give him a small donation.

Dr. Ho

Dr. Ho

herbal pharmacy

herbal pharmacy

Disneyland or China?
Lights of Old Town Lijiang

Lights of Old Town Lijiang

Posted by MamaYo 06:49 Archived in China Tagged family_travel Comments (6)

Just another crazy adventure by the Trustman's!!

When in China do as the Chinese!

sunny 70 °F

We are working are way north in the western part of China. We arrived in Lijiang from the Shaxi valley yesterday. Lijiang is a smaller city with mountains all around. We are staying in the "old town" section that is quite touristy. It is a walking only area and unlike other tourist places there are many different shops with clothing, fabric, jade and the all important combs (it seems that they really like nice combs here because there are comb shops in each town). At least it makes for better window shopping instead of the same chatchkies over and over. We are in the middle and have a nice view over the rooftops-all of which are lit up at night giving it a Disneyland feel.

Now to the adventure. Yunxin our master guide is not to fond of walking around shopping and seems to be into active things (reference blogs about long hike below). Today Yunxin said we would ride bikes to the neighboring villages. Now if you have not been following the blog the traffic and driving in China is absolutely crazy. It is sort of everyone for themselves. This includes all 2 wheeled vehicles and pedestrians. Now when I talk about 2 wheeled vehicles it is bikes, electric and gas scooters and motorcycles. All these means of transportation do not seem to have a limit of how many people can ride on them, sometimes we have seen as many as 4 people on a scooter (2 kids). So when he said we would ride bikes I think we all thought we would drive out of town and rent bikes somewhere on the edge of town and head out---Wrong! We got our bikes right here in the "old town" and would head out from here. By the way only a handful of people where helmets. We gathered a motley group of squeaky, clunking rental bikes including Yona's which just had a cushion on the back area and some foot pegs for the Po. Off we go into the city traffic. Yes I was thinking "Holy Shit!" as was Yo I am sure but what the heck. We all did fine even though Po got so tired at the end and was falling asleep forcing Yo to hold onto her with one hand (of course we have seen dozens of little kids on the back like Po asleep and just sort of balancing along but these are seasoned vets not a rookie like Po) Once again when we got back with that "Thank God We Made It" feeling, just another notch on the belt of adventure. Yona and I both agreed we would have never rode bikes in any of the other cities we have visited in China and for that matter would have never done it on our own volition, but that is why having an adventurous guide is so fulfilling and did I mention he always gets us the best lunches (except for the charcoal potato but that had its own meaning). Yo has the camera so I will have her post pics later. Signing off for now--next stop Shangri La.

Posted by sherpaBen 01:28 Archived in China Tagged family_travel Comments (5)

The Other Side of the Mountain

and the planet for that matter!

sunny 60 °F

We visited another world today. It was 13km up and over the large mountain behind Duan Village on a really steep rough trail. I had no idea what to expect--certainly not what we encountered. I knew that we were going to visit with a family in another village. As we got ready to leave Yunxin mentioned that they were quite poor and if we had any clothing we wouldn't be need ing they could certainly use it. So I was expecting poverty....as we got closer He told me that this tribe moved her about 80 years ago from the Sichuan province when their land stopped producing. They chose the only place they could in this area which happens to be a three hour hike up into the mountains. About 100 people live there now.
I was shocked to see that there could be any agriculture in the dry dirt up there. It was dusty and dirty.entering the village

entering the village

Apparently there has been four years of dry weather and the well has pretty much dried up. Yunxin says they have to walk two hours to get water.
the well

the well


It is hard to explain the impact of visiting these people today. It wasn't the poverty that really shocked me. In many ways they live like many people on modern Indian reservations. What was hard to comprehend is that these people are not recognized by the Chinese government at all. They have no citizen cards, no education, no services whatsoever--AND they never will. The kids will have no chance to ever leave the life behind. It was a very hard kind of living up there. There is absolutely no opportunity to change or escape from that life.
yet as Ben wrote--the people are happy. We walked home talking about what does happy mean? what do we need to be happy?
For us right now, living on the road, happy is about having good food without too much struggle. What an easy and comparatively luxurious life we live. Actually all I keep thinking is that there is no comparison to what they face every day. I don't know if they see it that way though bc there is no alternative for those families. They work hard and survive. No one was hungry==they just don't have anything. AND what do we need to have I hear myself ask? Obviously it was a good thought provoking experience--the kind I hoped to discover our here in the world.

I am so proud of the kids for hiking such a long way! It definitely was not easy!! I didn't take many photos bc I didn't want to treat anyone like a tourist attraction and the kids were so scared and shy of us already. The mother whom I gave the extra clothes to was so happy to have them--she smiled her big toothless smile and her eyes lit up.

Posted by MamaYo 05:29 Archived in China Comments (5)

Hiking 10 miles................

Today after getting over my sickness (that has thoroughly killed my nose) I woke up today to hear that we were hiking the mountain right behind us. After eating cold eggs and stuffing my handkerchief into my pocket I was ready to go! We decided to leave Posa so that we wouldn't have to deal with her. We started out by walking out of the village to the mountain. Immediately I noticed that the trail was really steep. For about the next hour and a half I huffed and puffed up the mountain until I asked my mom how far we were. "About a third of the way," Mom answered. I couldn't believe it! I had thought that we had to be at least 3/4 of the way up! Finally we got up to the summit of the first mountain to find out that we had another summit. Of course my mom didn't happen to share this info with us until we had already hiked up the first summit. Eventually, we finally got to the house we were trying to go to. It was a farm where all of the animals were aloud to run wild. There were about 4 puppies, 2 regular dogs, 12 pigs, 20 goats, and about 15 hens and roosters. The Alpha rooster was a little intimidating. One puppy wouldn't shut up. It was pretty annoying. Eventually, we made it back down and all of us were going to relax.

P.S Here is the riddle of the day: A cowboy rode into a town on Friday. He stayed for 2 days. He left on Friday. how did this happen? Post your answers on the comments.

Posted by DA Bean 04:10 Comments (5)

Attention Food Blog!!!!

sunny

Well it is time that I chimed in about the food. Our food luck has changed in the last week. In Kunming we gambled and went to a Yunnan restaurant called the Old Fashioned House. Yona pointed to the phrase in our phrasebook that said "what do you recommend?" The waitress pointed out several dishes and we were nervous-even saying maybe we should have just stayed at the hotel and ordered noodles from room service. To our relief the food was really good--pork tenderloin, steamed squash, fried dumplings and a few other things--what a relief. The next day we arrived in Dali and met our guide Yunxin. He has only taken us to excellent restaurants for our lunches--pointed us in the direction of a good Western food place for dinner in Dali saying "The kids won't have western food for several days after this." The meals have become spicier and spicier. When we were walking around Dali and the neighboring villages there were many small restaurants that would have there fish in a tank outside and all there veggies in little buckets and basins.

Finally on our way to Shaxi we stopped at one of these restaurants to eat, but instead of fish they had a big bucket of eels. The eels looked like snakes and when we sat down and Yunxin went to order Yona said "No snakes right?!?" The lunch once again did not disappoint with this plate of super grilled rib nibblets that would disappear at my house in seconds. There was also a spicey cucumber salad that was so tasty. And no snakes!!!!!
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Snakes?!?

Snakes?!?

Since we have been in Shaxi staying at Yunxin's house his wife has cooked meal after meal of amazing Yunnan cuisine. Each night making several dishes that would take us hours to create. Home cooking in China is well home cooking good just like home!!!

This brings me to the most interesting meal which was today. We hiked 7 miles up over a mountain to a very remote Bai village. The village was very poor and they can only farm potatoes in the winter and lima beans in summer. We were welcomed into a mans house and he had a fire pit in the kitchen. He went outside and grabbed a bunch of wood to start up the fire to offer us tea then he said we must be hungry and threw a bunch of potatoes into the fire. Yunxin said we should drink the tea and eat a potato as to not offend him. He was so generous and happy to welcome us so I drank my tea out of a camping mug that looked 20 years old and ate my potato after scraping the charcoal off and throwing the extra skin to the dog. It was one of those scenes where I was saying to myself "what am I doing here" - not in a bad way but a I am just a guy from Truckee and here I am in the strangest place.
Remote village kitchen

Remote village kitchen

Me and my boy!
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Posted by sherpaBen 03:59 Archived in China Comments (5)

Pictures to fill in the story--

check the new uploads under MamaYo

sunny 64 °F

I finally got to upload some new photos. There are so many of the fishing it's ridiculous, but it will give you a real close up of watching the events. I went ahead and put everything on the site, so sorry if some are bad, I don't have time to edit them all right now.

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We walked around some villages near Dali before we drove to Shaxi. Arella wrote a bit about that and I hope the photos add to the tale. We visited with an 85 yo woman who is the last fabric weaver alive in the area. She can still see and work at her fabrics on the ancient looms.
Last living fabric weaver in area

Last living fabric weaver in area

A nice intro to the Bai village market can be seen in the photos.
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Adrian is feeling better tonight and will be able to hike into the remote village tomorrow with us. I don't think he was too bummed to have to miss out on today's activities. We hiked around to two very old remote temples. They weren't really temples originally--just sandstone carvings of Buddhas hidden in alcoves deep in a canyon. The land here reminds me so much of Utah and Colorado. Red dirt and pine trees with strange sandstone formations. It was easy to imagine in the 9th century that this canyon would have been chosen as a sacred retreat place.
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Natural springs are still running, though the land is drier now, then there would have been a thick tall forest with lots of animals. It was still beautiful today and the land reverberated with a deep profound ==peace== The temple building were all built in the last four hundred years and in 1949 there was a big rebuild and upgrade. The most remote temple carvings were very badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution when Mao ordered that all "old things" were worthless and should be destroyed. The carving of Avalokiteshavara tells the story of Buddhism first coming to this part of the country. She presented as a woman preaching by the roadside and no one would listen to her, they said that she probably could not be trusted and didn't know what she was talking about. So she opened her chest and took out her heart to show the people. It is the oldest carving in this region and has a Tibetian carving next to it bc artisians from there were asked to come help to do the work in 900AD
The photo does not begin to show the beauty of this image.
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The next alcove over was an even older shrine that contained a giant vagina from a time long before Buddhism, Taoism, or Confucius ever existed. Newlyweds now come to pour oil on it to pray for easy births. It was pretty wet--grandpa buff is probably saying "reminds me of a girl I once knew..." (ala Ben). So special to see these oldest of shrines!

Had to tell you about this too
Feeling sassy in the new outfit

Feeling sassy in the new outfit

Posa requests a photo

Posa requests a photo


Posa found this girl and asked me to take a photo of them. She later spied a shop selling the Bai people clothes and begged to have this outfit. I just noticed it was the same one as the little girl from earlier. It really made her day--now she wants to get these for all her friends too. The coolest dress up ever? She loved seeing all the older Bai women in their outfits wherever we went and as we walked home she really wanted to parade back down the main shopping street. it was too late by then-but you can tell by her look she's feeling good! later she told me that she really loved it bc it looked like the clothes from MammaMia and she performed the dance scene for me singing an ABBA mash-up.

We are loving Shaxi. It is late night now and there is traditional music playing somewhere nearby--pre party for the wedding tomorrow, and firecrackers popping off in the distance.
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Posa finds a shoe

Posa finds a shoe

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view from house

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These are pictures of where we are staying including a view looking down into the valley from the opposite side where we hiked today.

it's beautiful here.

Posted by MamaYo 08:18 Archived in China Tagged family_travel Comments (5)

Mountains and Pine Trees

out of the city at last!

sunny 64 °F

So much to tell! You know that we are finally out in the countryside of the Yunnan province of southwest China. There are tall mountains with verdant valleys between. All the open space between the villages is filled with terraced gardens.
We were met by Yunzin who runs a host program in a small village, Shaxi, three hours north of Dali. We will be staying with him and the family for the next week, visiting other families, villages, and temples in the area. Yesterday was so relaxing--the sunshine, the mountains, and best of all having someone else do the thinking about our next move! A much needed mental rest for me! I took a long nap in the sunshine when we got to out guesthouse in Dali, and today I feel completely rejuvenated.
We drove today to Yunxin's home--he stays in a refurbished monastary and temple of the village of 500 people. He has had a business of guiding trekkers and hosting people here in Shaxi for the past 12 years. There are several rooms around a central courtyard set on the edge of the fields at the base of some tall mountains. So beautiful and peaceful...
The kids didn't do justice to the coromant fishing--I have to elaborate
We were in a village that traditionally fished by training the birds to fish for them--They have bamboo ring around the neck of hte bird that prevents the bird from swallowing the big fish. So the bird catches a fish and then comes to the boat where the fisherman lifts him out on a stick and pushes the big fish up out of the birds throat. Very ingenious! The people have been fishing this was for thousands of years until the Chinese government decided that it was not good for the lake. they are trying to promote tourism in the area and want to protect the lake...it seems a mixed up idea of protection though bc this way of fishing seems so much better than the fish farms that have been built to provide fish to the people. The boats were rowed by hand, so that wasn't polluting the water either. I think this could have been a real tourist draw for the region.... what a loss. We saw at least 150 boats piled up ont he shore, unused but for the two weeks a year that fishing is now allowed. But only two boats have kept their birds! We were so lucky to get to go out and see this. Yes we were serenaded by Yunxin and the boatman. Their people, the Bai, have a singing festival every year as the courting time. Young people meet each other by singing greetings and doing all the communicating and flirting via singsong. They asked us to sing them a song, which none of my kids would do, so I sang one of the song I learned while singing with the drum ladies, Daoga. I wish I could have belted out some crazy hoop-hollaring pow-wow song, it would have surprised them--But what came out was a gentle lullaby. It was a good match for their love songs though. The boatman laughed and cheered. It was an unforgettable moment singing to each other out there on the water.

Adrian now has a fever and is starting a cold. Bummer. Yunxin's wife, Giping has some herbs cooking on the fire for him-- hopefully, this tea will help him since he cannot/will not swallow the herb pills that I brought from home.

Love to you all

Posted by MamaYo 03:38 Archived in China Tagged family_travel Comments (5)

Here comes the sun :)

sunny 70 °F
View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

Today we arrived in Dali. After a relaxing day yesterday it was off again with a 7 am flight. It was the later of the 2 available today ;)! We got to Dali at about 8:30. It was quite a short flight. One the plane it was so hot, but then outside was hhhhhoooooootttttt. We drove to our hotel and checked in. Then headed out to "Ear" lake to watch the cormorants (type of bird) fish in the lake. They were specially trained to catch fish and bring them back to the boat. They have a small piece of bamboo in their throat that doesn't allow them to swallow the big fish. Though they are allowed to keep the smaller ones for themselves. After watching them catch 3 big fish we headed back to shore. One the row back Yunxin our guide and the man who was rowing the boat for us gave us a taste of some traditional Bai folk songs. It was very interesting. Once we got to shore we headed off to the old part of town. This for me was pretty dismal because there wasn't a lot for me to see. My mom loved it though. The old buildings were well old. One place that was semi OK was the house of a very rich family that fled in 1949 when the communists took over. When the communists took over they took all the wood carvings from the houses. They did this because they didn't want anything to do with wealth or power. So all the decorations were removed. Walking to lunch was the worst. The heat peaked and i was stuck in a sweat shirt with nothing on underneath. I guess I am now a baked potato. The lunch was great. We got amazing spicy pork, which I actually ate despite my aversion to hot food. We also got a bucket of rice. Literally it came in a bucket. Tasty tasty food. Riding back to the hotel was like being in a oven. LOL. The hotel itself wasn't that bad though, just a little heat. We sat outside soaking up the much needed rays. My dad got a little to much sun and it burnt! burnt! burnt! Later after naps and rest we set out on a very touristy shopping street. I found some very cool earrings and Mariposa got a traditional outfit and some nick knacks to bring home. Western food for dinner was just what we needed to refuel out tanks before a week of food we may not like.

Photos are on the way but the internet is to slow to upload right now

Love,
Arella

Posted by Arellaskye 04:27 Archived in China Tagged air_travel Comments (5)

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