10 hours shown 5 minutes w/ photos & music of China ... you will love this: click once then click until 3 lines appear on bottom left & it will play ....
We just added a video...Hope you enjoy it! Yesterday we booked a tour that was a private tour with Julie: ( two Swedish girls joined us) and spent 10 hours riding bicycles arround the area. We went out a long country road and took a fork that was just a dirt road (except it's been raining so it was really a muddy sludge road) we rode until we saw things we wanted to photograph...stopped, snapped, ... and then rode on. This ability to stop and go when we wanted is really the beauty of hiring a private person. We stopped at a little place and took pictures of a man and his wife planting rice. We decided to give them money and we put it on the ground but Julie got concerned and took it to the man .
A couple planting rice: the fields are divided into smaller sections because each section must be planted the same time so it can be harvested at the same time: so when an area is started they work rain or shine until it is finished.
... we only gave him a few yuan but he gave us a million dollar smile. When we went back to the bikes three darling children were crowded around them looking .... I got three boxes of raisins out and gave them to them..... the little boy ran inside and brought out another little girl. Luckily David was carrying raisins too. In the meantime I had dug out a power bar and they went wild when they saw it.... (yes, Kathy Anderson, you fed kids with your powerbar.... thank you) so we gave it to them but told them to cut it. One of the Swedish girls gave the boldest girl (around 6) her flowered hat. I asked to take her picture. she consented and posed (not smiling but looking down and very composed) while the others ran back into the house.
Here is the darling little girl posing for us. (our guide, Julie, asked her if it was OK)
Then after I took the first picture and showed her in the digital camera screen.... EVERYONE wanted to pose. so I got a bunch of pictures of these darling kids.
Moving on. We rode to a place where we were going to ride bamboo rafts. I got distracted with the items carried by the venders when we got there and took a dive into the mud. What a fuss everyone made. it was like I landed in alligators....... about 20 people tried to help me up. I was laughing and not hurt so it wasn't the drama they imagined. I waved them away as elegantly as I could laying on my belly....lol ....) it didn't help that I was laughing... My white pants looked horrible though.
The roads we cycled down were not paved: sometimes they were challenging as they were very thick with mud. deep mud.
... oh well. On the bamboo rafts, I rode with one of the girls, Nathalie, and David rode with Leslie.
It was a memorable ride. Nathalie and I fell behind the armada heading out as we caught a vender in a bamboo raft and tried to negotiate a couple of beers. The lady wanted 20 for one. I said 15 for two. Then she brought out the first one and it was huge. So after she gave us the second one I gave her an additional 5. Then.... she grabbed a five I had on my lap....Nathalie and I both lunged and grabbed it back.... so she gave us because we double teamed her.... Then..... get this...... she wanted me to buy the man who was poling us one of the huge beers.
Natalie leading the way.... look at how wonderful the countryside is.
..... I told her no..... and he was unhappy. what can I say... I just wasn't sure I could pole the raft after he was drunk..... Then Natalie calmed it by standing up and offering him a cigarette..... Everyone was happy and we started out about 1 block behind everyone else..... which was EXCELLENT for pictures. I got so many good shots. David did not have that luck as he was thick in the middle of about 50 bamboo rafts with beach umbrellas. Natalie and I are pretty serious photographers so we were the perfect pair.
... The hills were so green and shaped like gumdrops. Bamboo grew 50 feet high in some places: it was so feathery and green.
people working across the rice field
... the river winds and turns so even though there were tons of rafts ahead of us the bends hid them from time to time. GET THIS!... They actually had a place where you could buy your photo and they printed it right then on the river on the computer .... it was on a bamboo large square raft in the river..... and snack rafts with barbeques.... amazing. but still very Chinese and really neat ......
I will continue this tonight after David and I have dinner...... it is 7:30 at night here.... we leave tomorrow at 10: then to beijing for one day then home on the night of the 24: