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Chockstone Forum - Trip Reports

Tells Us About Your Latest Trip!

 Page 2 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 59
Author
China (last one! now mostly Malaysia)
Wendy
26/10/2009
2:21:58 PM
As someone reminded me about some of the quality toilets around, Guilin bus station flashed back into memory. For starters, I discovered my basic Chinese list that I printed off the internet didnít have toilet in it (really, surely where is the toilet is a travel basic?), so I had to wander around aimlessly looking for it. Then once you discover it, you also discover a whole bunch of squatting Chinese women, as all of the doors are broken off, so everythingís in full view. Oh well, if theyíre not bothered, then they wonít be bothered by me either Ö the toilets were on permanent flush so it was a bit like peeing into your own personal waterfall. They also like to put their showers over their toilets here. The shower head in our bathroom is also about 3 inches away from the lightglobe dangling precariously from the ceiling. I am a bit nervous about getting electrocuted in the shower. On that note, you also want to be careful of Chinese street lamps. Walking down the street with a friend, they stepped in a puddle as they brushed past a lamp post and got a massive electrical shock. Maybe someone thought the shower/toilet combination saved on cleaning as well as plumbing? But what it generally means is that everything is wet. Despite this, Iím still grateful they invented better squat toilets than the French. Although the French would probably be miffed that I think so. They also seem to have a reasonable quantity of public toilets, and they are free. Surely itís been adequately proven world over that pay toilets lead to people just pissing around the corner? The downside of the non flooding flush to these toilets is that when someone misses the hole, a pile of crap that would do credit to a cow can be left waiting for the next unfortunate.

We have a cleaner in our building to take care of these things. Sometimes I wonder how she finds the time to in the midst of all the busy sleeping she does in the lobby. She certainly works in mysterious ways. When we first moved in, we tried to ask for clean bedding. One of the other girls had stripped off the old linen and piled it on the floor outside the room. This caused great sensation that totally overrode any discussion of clean bedding. Did I mention the Chinese can be quite fond of their ways of doing things? Anyway, clean linen appeared, but no quilt. We had one of those nonconversations liberally filled with mime in which I tried to ask for a quilt and she appeared to be demonstrating that I would be far too hot with a quilt, that I could snuggle up under the sheet and I could turn the fan off if I was cold. This was after my night of throwing up, so I gave up and jumped into bed with my sleeping bag. Some hours later, she comes in with a quilt and helps me put it on. The next day, she comes in with a 2nd one. I have no idea.

They also employ quite a few street cleaners here. They wander around with brooms and dust pan sweeping up the streets. This morning, we rode past a funeral procession. It started with men throwing firecrackers (more painfully loud than the truck horns and these people were throwing them next to themselves for the whole length of the procession) then a long dragon puppet, the highly decorated casket carried by people and other mourners throwing other paper thingys around. Shortly after this, we pass 3 street sweepers cleaning up after them. 100m later, there was no sign left of the procession. There does appear to be some effort to manage rubbish (although to look at some places, you wouldnít think so). There are rubbish bins and recycling bins and communal concrete dump thingys out in the countryside and , I discovered the other day whilst having to ride through the smoke, they employ people to go around and burn the rubbish in the dumps. Best not to think about what this trip is doing for my lungs.
Wendy
26/10/2009
2:22:42 PM
They serve a very nice green tea in China, as one would expect, but Iím very attached to my old school British strong black tea (leaves in pot essential) with milk. This has proven somewhat harder to come by. So far I have only been presented with tea bags (courtesy of the Chinese branch of Liptons). We have however discovered the rather interesting Bubble Milk Teas. They actually bear no resemblance to tea at all, which is quite fortunate considering that they come in such flavours as passionfruit, coconut and coffee. It comes in one of the many packaging nightmare in China, being a plastic cup that is bunged in a special sealing contraption to give it a brightly coloured plastic seal decorated with a happy cartoon person and a super fat straw sealed in itís own wrapping. You shake the bubble tea up and jab the fat straw through the seal. The tea itself after all that is a sweet flavored milk drink with ice and these dark brown beads that look like coffee beans but turn out to be balls of taro and are a bit like an unflavoured jelly bean. You suck them up through the super fat straw and chew away on them. The whole package is rather good.

We stopped in at our favourite coffee shop yesterday after climbing. Itís on the Yulong river, 8kms out of town, in an area chockers with crags. Anthony spotted their impressive coffee machine riding home one day and made me turn around and check out the coffee. Itís actually quite reasonable and Ĺ the price of coffee in town. They also have very impressive Chinglish on their menu. I had to try the ďWinter Love Mango Cloth LeiĒ Ė which turned out to be a mango cordial slushie. They also have bubble tea, so this time I tried the irresistibly titled ďChocolate Pudding Bubble Milk TeaĒ When my freshly sealed package turns up, it has some white stuff floating in it. Initially I though this might be ice cream, but closer examination revealed they were square cuts of a soft white jelly like thing. Maybe a sort of tofu. Or sago pudding. They were pretty substantial and I was figuring that you eat them at the end of the drink when one slides up the straw and into my mouth. A bit like the babel fish sliding into your ear in Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy. Itís a bit offputting to suddenly suck in an inch square bit of jelly-cake substance! I broke open the seal for a closer look at the stuff and how the hell it got up the straw. Anthony couldnít believe it did, so I pointed the straw at the biggest bit and it wobbled and shapeshifted and disappeared up the straw. Suddenly I have a mouthful of weird substance in chocolate milkshake and I canít stop laughing. In the course of trying not to splatter tea everywhere, I think I had chocolate pudding bubble tea dripping out my nose and tears of it streaming from my eyes!

Finding climbing lunches at the supermarket has been entertaining. For some reason, Anthony just wasnít interested in the preserved chicken feet as an option. Still, I figure they must be good tucker, because there almost a whole aisle of them. Thereís also an aisle of dried fruit with such tantalizing things as dried mango. I excitedly dived into our dried mango at the crag only to spit it back out. Salt! Errgh! Now I look for ingredients in English, as almost all the dried fruit has salt and liquorice added and it just doesnít do it for me. They also like to add sugar to salty things. Thus my salted and spiced broadbeans were disturbingly sweet. I have however discovered some dried coconut chunks dipped in icing sugar, which actually are nothing but coconut and sugar and they taste just like coconut ice.

On the topic of culinary delights, China of abounds with things you wouldnít normally consider eating. Take snails for example. They must be a bit of a delicacy given the price of Li River Snails in a restaurant. But you can also get them at a roadside stall. Itís quite a novel sound, snails being tossed around a wok. I admit to not having tried them. The Li River is not so clean that Iím excited about eating the snails from it. You can also get snake on the menu. The students inform me that there are not many poisonous snakes left in China because everyone has eaten them. Apparently they make good soup. Anthony was also told snake marinated for 2 years in red wine (which is made from corn and rice here not grapes) was a popular menís dish. No one elaborated for him why only men ate it, so Iím going to assume thereís some virility association.
Wendy
26/10/2009
2:23:20 PM
Yangshuoís regional dish is Beer Fish. Big flashing neon signs will invite you to eat beer fish at assorted restaurants for a fairly hefty price. In a smaller, more out of the way restaurant, we got some for about half that. But still, 3 times the price of the usual local food. Itís actually really nice, although one of my student told me he wasnít very impressed by beer fish and I should try beer duck. I had a group of beginner students trying to explain what beer fish was too me once. In the course of the conversation I had the impression that the fish spent its life swimming around in beer and draw a picture of a fish swimming in a beer stein on the board to much hilarity. I still donít actually know how they cook beer fish. I do know however this rather costly fish is usually made from 2 species most Australians would consider inedible Ė catfish and carp. Itís baked whole in a spicy sauce with assorted vegetables and I couldnít really taste beer in it at all, so maybe there isnít any?
Then thereís the famous dog. My students assure me it is delicious. I asked if we would have eaten dog amongst the assorted unidentified meats served at the school, but they didnít seem to understand my question. So it remains a mystery. But a trip to the market here might be a little confronting for those more comfortable with dogs as manís best friend. There are dead and skinned dogs hanging up and live dogs in cages. A British girl working at the school was all traumatized because she was sure they knew what was happening. I asked her how she thought all the cows, sheep and pigs felt about their transport, accommodation and wait at the abattoirs at home? Meat eating is a little more in your face here. You may well meet the chicken or fish you are ordering for dinner. And whilst Iím sure a chicken doesnít like being transported hanging upside down, face 4 inches from the ground, held by their feet by the passenger on the bike, in general I think the animals here have better lives, suffer transport across shorter distances and their death are at least no more traumatic.

Iím learning more about the baby issue in China everyday. Seems like it a big issue. In general, people understand the policy and agree there are too many people in China. But people are finding ways around the policy all the time. Apparently between 1980 and 1997, the govt was really harsh about it. Second babies would result in visits to your house and trashing of your property. Now people can have 2nd babies, but they are fined for it. Out here in a rural town, itís only 40000 yuan ($8000ish). But in Shenzhen, itís 100000 yuan ($20000ish). Itís like a reverse baby bonus. 3rd babies cost more and so on. But farmers arenít controlled so strictly. Which could be because itís far harder to police them, or maybe because China really needs itís farmers when the rate of evacuation to the cities is so high. Other people get around it by not reporting their babies. I figure this will lead to more than a few complications later on when all Chinese need their id card to do, well, almost anything. If the govt finds out you are pregnant with your second child, they will force you to abort it, but once it is born, they leave you alone. So women will leave their towns and seek anonymity in a large city for the duration. Hong Kong is a popular option, as having a Hong Kong id card makes lots of things easier, but I forget the details. Visas were certainly one of them. Then I see on China Daily today that Shanghai is now encouraging people to have second babies Ė on the proviso that the 2 parents are from single child families. Never has family planning been so complicated. But people do see aging population as an issue, especially as here, the children, or as is usually the case now, child, has to look after the parents in their old age. Historically, there havenít been any govt programs or welfare for the aged, but they are now setting up homes for the aged, but no one could tell me what they are like.

Amongst the other interesting information I have been picking up, is that people consider the environment around here to be very good, and the air and water very clean. Itís probably a good thing Iím not going to the less clean areas of China. I was also curious at the substantial police presence in Yangshuo. Apparently, itís all put on for the tourists. Yangshuo gets extra police and thus public security is very good here and not reflective of the norm across China. Celebrity Head continues to go off, and I learnt that Edward Chan is a famous Hong Kong playboy from it. Never know when this information will come in handy.
Wendy
26/10/2009
2:23:39 PM
Just to get back to climbing again briefly, guiding is a bit of business around here. Slightly different to at home though. The Golden Cat Cave is set up everyday by one group, huge banner across the cliff and a drink stand by the road and they flag passing tourists to pop in a have a go. Other operate more conventionally, taking out individuals or groups to a crag. Except there arenít any really easy crags here. Nor things you set up top ropes from above on. So they wander out, lead a few 5.8s and 5.9s, set up a rope off the anchors, clean the draws and theyíre ready to go. So everyone starts out on 16s and 18s and the routes do get very polished. The experience of guides here seems to vary a lot, and when oneís getting told about how to position himself relative to the rope and what might happen if he fell off, you do wonder a little. Many of the Chinese climbers we have seen (and that was an American guy before btw) seem to follow standard procedures very strictly. They verbally if not physically check each other and stick to all their calls. Which is all a good thing, especially in the light of the Scottish woman we saw whose rope fell off her at the second bolt. Iím just glad it happened at the 2nd bolt as from past performance, she was going to fall all over the top of the route with far worse consequences than a scare and getting your rope thrown back up to you. Make sure you double check your knots out there!

Wendy
26/10/2009
2:24:53 PM
Sorry Andrew, I forgot to bring my camera in, so no piccies.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
26/10/2009
2:51:42 PM
The update/s are great Wendy.

>Amongst the other interesting information I have been picking up, is that people consider the environment around here to be very good, and the air and water very clean. Itís probably a good thing Iím not going to the less clean areas of China.

It is amazing what people can get used to.
I wonder if they would change their mind if ever given the chance to compare what they have with someplace more environmentally pristine?

Your comments about the chinese internet-nanny make for some thought provoking re what people get used too, as well.

>shoulder is going great and Iím excited about getting back into form.

~> Good to hear.

MattyB
27/10/2009
2:38:39 PM
Hey Wendy! I've been stuck in Chengdu in SW China for 2 months now, and reading your opus has made me feel that my reactions to China are not entirely unfounded!!

I have had an almost parallel experience with the odd toilets, the food, the restlesness about not being able to get your comfort foods (particularly in the morning!), and food in general (snails in a wok??!); the overpriced, and just plain weird coffee, and pretty much everything you've mentioned! I even went to the store the other day to buy some (ahem) 'dried fruit' to make up a trail mix for a hike day, and every single one of the packets of innocent looking fruit was salty and marinated with Chinese 5 spice. Very disgusting! Suffice to say, no trail mix for the hike - they all went straight in the bin! We ride bikes around the city on the daytime, and some exploring of the suburban backstreets has been very interesting - yesterday we saw a lady sitting in the open in a park area, getting her teeth drilled out with a dentists drill... Sitting next to a table covered with second-hand false teeth for sale. It was excruciating to even contemplate....!

Similar parallels with talking to the local people, and the topics that were thought to be 'taboo', are actually the ones they want to talk about! and I thoroughly concur on your opinion on the carbon footprint issue, I was another Westerner casting nasturtiums on the mysterious East and it's fossil fuel/coal dependence, but after seeing the massive use of electric scooters and bicycles in Chengdu, and the frugality with which most people are forced to live, I have been quite humbled in terms of that particular debate. I've been reading a book on the socio-economic history of China, and I'm fascinated that out of 1.3billion or so Chinese, 900million are subsistence peasants and farmers, and the average wage in China is a mere $240USD a year. And that if you are a farmer/peasant, that you are not legally allowed to enter any of the urban centers, and if the law sees you trying to get in the city they will arrest and remove you... : / Now I'm only quoting from a book here, but assuming these facts are correct, it's quite a startling to contemplate...

Anyway, cheers for taking the time to write, you've inadvertently alleviated my homesickness somewhat!! Another 3 months here before I get released into the wild again, and I will be making a beeline back to Oz for a good coffee, antipasto platter, and a pepperoni pizza. Actually, now that I've written that, I'm thinking maybe I should go to Italy instead...?

Happy climbing, BTW!!! Chengdu is pancake flat, and I don't get enough time off every week from work to explore the plethora of mountains not far from here.... : (

Cheers, enjoy your trip!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
27/10/2009
3:01:39 PM
On 27/10/2009 MattyB wrote:
>and I thoroughly concur on your opinion on the carbon footprint issue,
>I was another Westerner casting nasturtiums on the mysterious East and
>it's fossil fuel/coal dependence, but after seeing the massive use of electric
>scooters and bicycles in Chengdu, and the frugality with which most people
>are forced to live, I have been quite humbled in terms of that particular
>debate. I've been reading a book on the socio-economic history of China,
>and I'm fascinated that out of 1.3billion or so Chinese, 900million are
>subsistence peasants and farmers, and the average wage in China is a mere
>$240USD a year.

Does this mean that the remaining 1.3 million are the consumer society more or less exclusively using the allegedly vast quantities of fossil fuel/coal they import/mine themselves?
If so, I wonder how that compares per capita/head to the likes of Australia, USA, or parts of Europe?

nmonteith
27/10/2009
3:16:00 PM
On 27/10/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Does this mean that the remaining 1.3 million are the consumer society
>more or less exclusively using the allegedly vast quantities of fossil
>fuel/coal they import/mine themselves?
>If so, I wonder how that compares per capita/head to the likes of Australia,
>USA, or parts of Europe?

I imagine a large amount of the fuel consumed goes into running factories that make products for the western world.

pmonks
27/10/2009
3:22:14 PM
On 27/10/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>If so, I wonder how that compares per capita/head to the likes of Australia,
>USA, or parts of Europe?

"Ask [google] and ye shall receive!"

Summary for the impatient (based on 2006 figures):


































CountryRankMetric Tons of CO2 / person / yr
Qatar1st56.2
U.A.E.2nd32.8
Kuwait3rd31.2
Bahrain4th28.8
Trinidad and Tobago5th25.4
Luxembourg6th24.5
Netherlands Antilles7th22.8
Aruba8th22.3
U.S.A.9th19
Australia10th18.1
--- 8< ---
Estonia19th13.1
--- 8< ---
Finland21st12.7
--- 8< ---
Czech Republic25th11.3
--- 8< ---
Russia27th10.9
Ireland28th10.4
--- 8< ---
Belgium30th10.3
Netherlands31st10.3
--- 8< ---
Denmark34th9.9
--- 8< ---
Greenland !!!!36th9.8
Germany37th9.7
U.K.38th9.4
Norway39th9.3
--- 8< ---
Nuw Zulund53rd7.4
--- 8< ---
China83rd4.6


[EDIT] Holy snapping hideous CSS styles batman!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
27/10/2009
3:30:50 PM
Thanks for the link pmonks.
Hmm. Australia 11 and China 96, ... but I also note the following from that reference;
Note that emissions as a result of manufacturing exports and emissions avoided by importing products are not considered in the following list. For instance, around 33% of China's emissions in 2005 were due to the production of exports rather than consumption.


Edit;
your post amendment of the summary has Aust as 10th & China as 83rd?
~> Whatever.
I never would have thought that the disparity in their/our rankings would be so great.

pmonks
27/10/2009
3:52:09 PM
On 27/10/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Edit;
>your post amendment of the summary has Aust as 10th & China as 83rd?
>~> Whatever.

Yep. As stated I ranked the data based on the latest (2006) data only - the rank shown in the Wikipedia page is some kind of cumulative or average rank for all of the emission data from 1990 to 2006.

>I never would have thought that the disparity in their/our rankings would
>be so great.

My theory: Australia emits a shiteload of CO2 per captia because (a) the soil is extremely poor and water so scarce that it takes a lot of fossil fuels to allow western crops to grow (compound that by several orders of magnitude for sheep and cattle farming, which is much worse for CO2 emission); and (b) farming is carried out a looooooong way from the major population centres, so even more CO2 has to be emitted to physically move the food to where it's needed.

Seen on a bumper sticker here recently (on a Prius, funnily enough): "A vegan in a Hummer is less damaging to the environment than a meat eater in a Prius.".

Then there's this news article from our frunds across the dutch: "Save the planet, eat a dog?". Summary: you'd have to drive a 4.6l Toyota Landcruiser 20,000kms / yr to match the carbon emissions of a pet dog. Would you like some Kimchi with that?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
27/10/2009
4:00:20 PM
World Carbon Footprint Calculator.
Reckons the Total footprints are;

China = 3,925,0 million tonnes CO2-equivalents.
Australia = 399,4 million tonnes CO2-equivalents.


>Summary: you'd have to drive a 4.6l Toyota Landcruiser 20,000kms / yr to match the carbon emissions of a pet dog.

That article did not quote it's sources, so it makes me wonder...
~> and from what Wendy has written, it doesn't sound that the chinese need worry too much about their dog carbon footprint contribution!
kieranl
27/10/2009
4:28:52 PM
So our trip to the desert last year cost roughly 0.5 PDE (Pet Dog Equivalent).

nmonteith
27/10/2009
4:32:37 PM
My car does 0.003 PDE/km
kieranl
27/10/2009
5:03:03 PM
If I had run over a pet dog during my desert trip would I have qualified for 0.5 PDE carbon credits?
Wendy
31/10/2009
5:44:46 PM
Here I am, freshly back from my first Chinese traditional massage. It did take me 3 weeks to brave one because our Canadian friends were so knocked around by their first one they couldnít climb the next day and besides, I never seemed to get back in time to go get one before classes. Anyway, it was great. You can get what they call a European or American oil massage at relatively exorbitant prices in the centre of town, which Anthony reckons are pretty good, but I went on a mission to the burbs to a Chinese blind masseur that the local Chinese recommended. All the signs are in Chinese, but I was told they had the crucial words of 1 or 2 hours, easy, hard and ok. And the price, 25 Yuan, or less than $5. They are all, as you might expect, blind, and I got a tiny woman (she makes me look big) who may have had some sight as she seemed to get her face up very close as if she was trying to see, but she did basically everything by feel, running her fingers up and down to check she had the right spot. Itís really not like our idea of massage. Itís a communal room, you keep your clothes on, they donít use oil and massage through a thin cotton tea towel like thing. You get the whole body done, including hands, feet, face and head. She started with an intensive session on my neck, using an technique where she pushed against something until her finger flipped over it. A kind of gruesome feeling, but it sent tingles all down my back and into my legs and arms which was pretty nice. Then she went over my back and shoulders and seemed to realize she had to be gentle on my right shoulder by touch, because I didnít bother trying to explain it given my total absence of Chinese. I figured ok, no and easy should get me out of trouble, but I didnít need to say anything. She was just gentler on my right. Unless itís just got to do with her preferred side to work on. The lower back gets another big session, then I realized my legs were bloody sore for all the cycling when she piled into them. She also found all those sore spots emanating from the elbows that those of us with a history of tendonitis have and did funky things to my fingers that went down rather well too. Iím not sure what she thought of my hair, given the Chinese in general have been very curious about my hair and she was discovering my odd hair (and nose ring!) by touch.

We went for a walk only the river yesterday. 24km of it. Itís supposed to be a classic thing to do in Yangshuo, and I was a little disappointed in it. Sometimes I think that ordinary people arenít used to seeing extraordinary things, whereas I do many things that take me to extraordinary places, so the bar for amazing is a little higher. It is pretty. Lots of the karst towers, the river, but itís also really noisy. The river is chockers with big tour boats coming down from Guilin and little bamboo rafts with outboard motors. The rafters are constantly approaching you with ďbamboo, bambooĒ or ďbamboo Xing ping?Ē so we were forever saying no, walking. Actually, they arenít even traditional bamboo rafts, but lookalikes made of plastic piping, but I guess ďPVC, PVC, Xing ping?Ē doesnít have the same ring to it. We did cross the river on an archaic ferry, then got the shits with following the river and took a path through the farmland to Xing ping. It was instantly quiet and equally pretty. By this stage it was after 2 and we were starving, but the only food we had seen were an assortment of river creatures battered, skewered and fried, lying out on tables. The crabs, fish and snails may well have been nice, but we were a bit loath to try anything that had been sitting out in the sun all morning. Eventually we stumbled across a tea house. They ad no menu or anything to suggest they normally did food and served us green tea, but with our few Chinese words Ė rice, vegetables - and some charades, they made us a delicious fried rice. Xing ping has a pretty old stone section and nice location on the river and is famous for being on the 20 Yuan note. We managed to avoid all the touts trying to get us out in a raft for a photo imitating the 20 Yuan note and found the bus back to Yangshuo.
Wendy
31/10/2009
5:49:12 PM
The local buses have a rather cool system of just heading out and picking up or dropping off people as they go. It does mean it can be a little slow getting out of town, but I like the idea you donít need to run to the bus stop but just wave at them going by. In order to get to the further crags, you can wander into the bus station and search out the appropriate bus. It can be a little intimidating at first, as there are a lot of buses, and people running around touting for their buses (You will inevitably get people yelling ďGuilinĒ at you whilst you are still 50ms from the bus station), but itís actually quite easy once you suss it out. The guide book doesnít really give you a lot of detail, so hereís my clarification. Get out your map of the area and find out which town is on the road you want to head out on. For White Mountain or the Egg, it will be Pu Yi, for Wine Bottle area, Moon Hill or Lei Pei Shen, Goatian. Check out the characters for the town and wander around looking at the boards in the window of the bus til you find it. Pu Yi seems to get the 22 seater buses and Goatian the little silver minibuses. The bus drivers will often recognize you as climbers and name the most popular crags on the road til they figure out where you are going and stop the bus and direct you accordingly. If they donít, show them the map and the Chinese area names in the guidebook if you donít know exactly where to get off. The local buses should be 2.5 Yuan each person each way. If you are quoted anything else, look around for the board with the charges on it in the bus and waggle your finger at it. If itís not there, you may have been lured in by a charter mini bus and they will be 30-40 Yuan to get to the further crags. Get out and keep looking. They leave all the time and if you point at your watch, they will get out a mobile phone and type in the time they leave, or indicated in fingers how long til they leave. The finger counting is a bit different here, with ten being an X with the index fingers, six or seven being the thumb and pinky extended in the manner a heavy metal fan waves in their air whilst head banging. I havenít really got the system sorted. If your bus is more than 15 minutes off leaving, keep looking, Iíve never had to wait more than a few minutes. The same system will get you to other local destinations like Xing ping and Yangdi, and there is a set price Ė check out what it should be before you go, but I have only had one legitimate bus try and overcharge. Getting home is a matter of getting back to the road you were dropped off on and flag anything bus like. Plenty of them are tourist buses but the local buses will stop if they have room. They crowd heaps of people in, so that you might end up riding on the bench behind the front seats, or on a little wooden stool on any available floor space. If you are only going a short distance, you can flag an assortment of other odd things Ė like the oversized tuk tuks with the motor on the front or mototaxis and make an offer to go somewhere. We were saved the 1.5 km walk from Goatian to Lei Pei Shen by jumping in the back of a tuk tuk. Iím not sure that it went much faster than walking, but it was preferable in the 30 degree heat.

Lei Pei Shen is yet another impressive looking crag. The main cliff is almost like a leaning bowl, curving in from both sides, itís lower part almost slabby before rapidly becoming steep and looming over at the top. Sadly, thereís almost nothing I can climb on it, with second pitches on the steep head wall going at high 5.13s and 5.14. Fortunately, thereís a smaller wall beside it, also impressively steep, but much more liberally endowed with pockets. I found a heap of hands free rests up it, through knee bars, hip wedges, a knee jam and a massive thread that I first put a whole arm behind, then 2 moves later, a whole leg. I honestly donít know how people climb with out these things. The guide book says the crag is in the sun all day, but actually, it comes into the shade late morning and stays that way. It has continued to be pretty hot. Weíve just had another long stint in the high20s-low 30s, but as off tomorrow, itís cooling down and weíll spend our last week getting onto some south facing crags that we havenít been able to climb on all month.
Wendy
31/10/2009
5:49:41 PM
Sorry again Andrew, the computer doesn't like my camera

MattyB
31/10/2009
5:59:34 PM
Hey Wendy, are you still going to be around for the 2009 Yangshou Climbing festival on Nov13-15??

http://www.climbing.com/community/events/2009_yangshuo_climbing_festival/

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