China 2016: The first five days

It’s Easter today, but you wouldn’t know it here. No bunnies, no eggs, no religious doctrine. Not that I completely mind or care. This trip is worth far more to me than a holiday I barely celebrate. That being said, I can’t say that the five days I’ve been here has been all sunshine and roses.

Our first full day was Wednesday, which we spent just walking around Kunming and hopping random busses. A good mini-adventure as we were pretty jet lagged. We made it back to our hotel around 6pm and crashed for the night.

Thursday was more of the same, although we had a couple of destinations in mind. Hopping more buses, we eventually made it to a park. It wasn’t what we were actually looking for, mind you.   Sunflower was looking for a botanical garden. A botanical garden that was actually on the outskirts of town. Oops. But it didn’t matter.  It was nice to wander around there.  We happened to find a vegetarian buffet in the middle of the park that was pretty tasty as well.  No complaints.

On Friday we joined a tour group to the Stone Forest. This was an interesting journey. What we didn’t know was that there would be a couple of pit stops along the way for mini-shopping excursions. Three stops of an hour each, where each purchase made benefitted the tour guide in the form of a small commission. This really didn’t come as a surprise, but it was a little frustrating. At the end of the day though, it was worth it. The Stone Forest, a large, natural formation of protruding rocks, was quite beautiful to see. The area is quite large, and takes around three days to walk through it all. We stuck with the main tourist section which only covered a small portion (maybe an eighth of the park). We got home and grabbed a late dinner from a small hole in the wall.

Mistake.

It took a mere three days for me to get some food poisoning, leading me to spend day four in bed.  A day that should have found me on a plane to Nanning. Only, there was no plane.  There was no plane because there was no flight.  There was no flight because that route had apparently been cancelled.  All this we find out about only after TheWife™ and I laboured to the airport (she got a bit of poisoning too).  Without much fight, the airline booked us a hotel and a new flight with a different airline for a day later.  In hindsight, this was probably a far more optimal situation, as my sister-in-law’s home only has squat toilets (i.e. a hole in the floor).  

With a bit of a tender tummy, I’m pretty much back to normal again, sitting in the back seat of my sister-in-law’s Asia only brand Chevy Sail, on route from Nanning to Guigang, TheWife™’s hometown. It’s a relaxing and familiar drive. It’s a Sunday and there’s basically nothing on the highway. The next a few days I imagine will be pretty light, but given the past few days, I don’t really mind.

 

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