tonight it finally rained.. only just, but enough! We got back last night from our trip which totalled 250km in 4 days (though mostly on day 1 and day 4 getting there and back) -it was enough to wear out the other 5; but thanks to my previous cycling experience I was still able to cycle another 30 km in order to pick up the electricity card and save us from darkness all night!
It was a a fun 4 days; we had some tough riding up mountains (and enjoyable ones back down); we stayed in a yurt; had 3 punctures; bunjee jumped and horse-rided and other things besides. The weather was beautiful and so was much of the scenery.
Not surprisingly the grasslands lacked grass (the ones in went to last october in western china are a million times more beatiful) and most of the villages we passed were a dump (though the towns were booming). On the other hand the gorge was almost a model of a tourist attraction -well organised, well laid-out and sustainable. Although it was the busiest day of the year it was still a pleasure to be there. We had fun laughing at some of the inevitable tackiness (like the dragon shaped escalator) and playing 'spot the fat chinese kid' -not as many as we thought there might be!
Afterwards we headed for a full body massage, though i am still not much of a fan (apart from the comedy value of having a tiny 18 yr old girl standing on my back causing me agony! Since i skipped the horse riding i was in better shape than the others (Susan is still walking funny -he he!). Now we are back at work: only 3 weeks or so to go before and then our successors move in for a month working together. I should be travelling a lot in the next 4 weeks -yay; polluted and dry Beijing is so depressing after the 4 days in the (relative) countryside. On our trip we even saw stars in the sky!