Roosters are crowing, horses are neighing, the rain is falling, we are ensconced. There is no better place to be during this rain than inside warm beds nestled atop the Pingan mountains. I can hear the water running down the drainpipes. There are no other noises. No pounding, no hammers, no car horns, no vendor carts. I look out my window perch and see white, nothing but clean white mist against my window ledge.
It's hard to step from our warm beds. I know I should get up and start the coffee. So I step out of bed and flick the switch of the water boiler and dart back under the warm covers and type on my iBook.
I hear the rolling thunder in the distance and the rain intensifies. It's a bad morning for pictures but a good day to read.
I forgot about the challenges of the bathroom. As I mentioned the last time we were here the sink drains onto the floor. That means that as I shave and brush my teeth the water drains into my toes. I'd forgotten that there is no straight wall anywhere in the room. The walls are curved and the floor slants to the back corner. This is so that the water from the sink and the shower find the drain. Since the floor is not level the toilet sits askew. I feel always slightly off balance. Experiencing the bathroom is like entering a funny house at a carnival.
The weather has cleared. It's beautiful. The sun reflects in the pools of the terraces.
Tim and Maite have wandered off to a village on their own. We meet up with them at dinner and hear that an old man tried to trap them in his village and expected some cash to guide them out. They had asked where there was a place to eat and he took them to his mud floor hut and on up to the second floor. Tim said: "It just didn't feel right, so we left." Tim picks up on this stuff pretty quick. They did finally find their way out after three attempts on various paths. The village is like a maze. No path is straight and some paths run right into someone's home. Then you have to backtrack to the fork in the path.
While walking the trails we find many of the Zhuang and Yao people displaying their costumes. We shoot a few pictures of the crowns and costumes but don't take pictures of them because I'll have to pay. I'm cheap.
We took a high road and found the peaks of Pingan. We met several foreigners including a woman who is staying right next door to us. She's staying at Li'an. Li'an is an exclusive hotel built by a Chinese man who has traveled the world. Each room is a unique museum of the various ares of China he's visited. There is a book in each room explaining all the artifacts. It's got all the Western amenities you could want. But you pay for it. The rooms go for $150 (U.S. dollars) and up to $250 a night. That's robbery when you consider we are paying $14.50 just next door. The views are the same. But, maybe they have better bathrooms.
The power to the area of Pingan has been spotty. I can't imagine why. It's been a real challenge to keep up with the blog. I've included a few pics of some of the construction so dad can think about coming here to help them out with the concrete forming. I still need to find someone that can help them reroute some of their power lines though.
I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine. - Caskie Stinnett
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