Few days in Jiuxiang!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
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16
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Trip End Mar 03, 2011


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Flag of China  , Yunnan Province,
Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm currently in Jiuxiang as there is no school for a week. Zhang (one of my students) invited me back to his house (in Jiuxiang) insisting I spend 3 days there.  As I had no other plans, I agreed!  I would meet Zhang on Sunday in Jiuxiang – so I managed to find the right bus which was unfortunately packed.  Not only with people, but with chickens, small dogs, tyres and other random objects.  Needless to say, the journey there was very uncomfortable, hot and smelly.  I recognised signs that were saying we were near Jiuxiang, however I still managed to miss my stop and ended up getting off one stop too late in the Scenic Area instead!  Had to wait 30mins for the next bus to leave to go back to the town where I met Zhang and a couple of his friends (one of which I also teach).

So yesterday and today were pretty much similar in what we did.  We ate meals at the house and then went out to various caves after walking for what seems like an age through rice fields up and down the mountains.  The views around were spectacular – very green and colourful.  We ended up having to cross small rivers/streams to get to the caves – unfortunately for James he fell in after he slipped off the stone!  Both caves were amazing – really big but pitch black inside for the most part.  The first cave we went to, we had no torches so the guys made a small fire and a torch out of fire.  It was the only source of light to be able to see where you were going.  It wasn’t a particularly good idea though as there was no ventilation so the cave eventually filled up with smoke so we had to leave!

The 2nd cave we went to, we had torches.  However, this cave was quite dangerous walking through with it being pitch black, low ceilings, tight gaps and stalactites hanging very low.  Sofa (one of the students names) marked the way we came every so often along the walls to make sure we wouldn’t get lost.  We didn’t get very far into the cave before we came to what appeared to be a dead end - blocked by boulders.  After looking for another route we came across markings on the wall that had arrows pointing upwards and some words in Chinese.  The only way was up!  So yeah, we ended up climbing up the boulders and down to the other side – pretty scary and dangerous.  Coming back the same way, it took us just under an hour for all 5 of us to climb up and down to come out as it has started raining and the cave had got very wet inside.

On both days, we were fortunate to get a lift back to the town by some people who let us climb into the back of the 'truck’ instead of having to walk the hour journey back.  In the evening (well late evening) we went to a ‘restaurant’ and had beef rice noodles and barbeque chicken with Zhang’s family.
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