Day 85 995 days to go. Distance: today 66km, yesterday (travel day), total # . It’s 6.00pm Thursday 23/2/2012 Fangcheng China. Nihao (pronounced Neehow) from China. I have no idea why but I was really nervous about moving into China and the buzz of now being here is truly wonderful. It feels like ‘this is now it.’ Like we’ve had our teething time and now we begin our journey or something along those lines (it only took us 4 amazing countries and 4 000km to warm up :-). Our last 48 hours in Vietnam was really special. I loved it and surprised myself to be sad to say goodbye. We were sort of just settling in. I woke yesterday morning all nervous with the bus trip and starting China in general. So the business brain was on to get through the next day. Scared myself and Ruby a bit 🙂 The lad from the guest house in Halong met us at 9.00am yesterday morning to escort us on his moped to make sure we got onto a bus for Mong Gai. Lovely man!! Thank goodness hedid. I thought we were going to the bus stop but instead we went to the highway and waited for a bus bound for the border. During the 30minute wait he asked me all sorts of questions about australia practicing his english 101. He even asked for my email address so he could write me to practice more. I can’t remember his name to save myself and should have written it down. Anyway it was easy time spent waiting until he flagged down a local bus. No luggage compartments thank goodness so Ruby got wheeled up the bus aisle and lent against the seats and her trailer stored in the centre door well. They were totally safe and travelled beautifully. The lads on the bus and the other travelers were more than happy to have us on board. The men sitting near me were fascinated in the Chinese maps and guide book that I had out to look at. They also checked out my cleat shoes, wedding band, and St Christopher pendant and thought it all very interesting. The 4 hourtrip flew and I was very happy to know we were traveling safe. We arrived Mong Gai about 2.30pm. I repacked the girl and we had a look around town generally and to find somewhere to stay. I had a skype date with my partner at 7pm so I was keen for wifi access. Instead we found this hotel that I think has been my favorite stay. The man and wife who ran the place were all welcoming smiles wanting us to stay. when I explained about wifi I eventually understood that he piggy backs the wifi from the cafe across the road. How cheeky and he knew it!!! We spent ages laughing while he tried to remember the password and eventually sorted it out and logged in. He gave me the best room in the front of the hotel because that was closest to the cafe. bonus! When you stood on the balcony with your tongue the right way you could still get a bar or two. The room was fabulous for $15 which was a god deal considering the heaps of places I checked out beforehand were alldives still asking $10. The two couldn’t do enough to make our stay comfortable. They gave us toffee’s and chocolates and green tea sachets and butter cubes. They had two of the most boofiest German Shepherds. I fussed over and cuddled them heaps and they were darling gentle giants and clearly mum and dad’s babies. I read that the Chinese like dog hot pot so I’m to know my babies are sfa at home and these two boofs in Vietnam. at least we have an idea where those buses were headed. I don’t think they would be bothered with Monty my mini foxy. Then again she could make a snack dumpling with her last tooth a bonus toothpick. Better she stays at home!!!! Back to the hotel folk. They have two daughters one working with Vietnam airlines and the other married with a six year old boy. I really enjoy sharing info with folk keen to do so and try despite the language barrier. It’s special to get to know someone obviously on a limited level but it’s still warm andsharing and very cool. The man gave me heaps of directions this morning but it was still a bit tricky to find the border crossing and I stopped heaps for extra pointers. We had all day so that part was ok. We eventually found the spot. It was wierd you had to buy a ticket to go into immigration. Go figure. Unfortunately I had spent most of my dong and didn’t have enough. The locals were being charged 10 000 but of course tourists are double and I only had 13 000. This man stepped forward to see what the fuss was, took my 10 000 and put in the extra 10 000 just to shut the ticket lady up and move along the crazy cycle lady 🙂 He got the warmest handshake and smile I could muster and we were in. Well sort of. The process was very formal like in an airport with customs and immigration. The only difference was that instead of having luggage I had Rube and her trailer. So we had to negotiate stairs, through dogleg queuing systems, turnstiles, scanningmachines and down some more stairs where the process spat us out all stamped up and ready for China. Phew!!!!!!! It was crazy literally being popping out the Chinese side of the border in a city called Dongxing. And it was huge and immediately different. As kids we each had a jewelry box and amongst the trinkets I remember having a chinese lantern ornament. I thought of this lantern stepping out into Dongxing. Everything was in Chinese writing, road signs, town names, directions, shop signs, advertising. It was such a buzz and the city was big and bustling. How’s this… I had no idea which direction to head so I got the compass and map out and figured we had to head north so we did. Lots and lots and more lots of stops to get directions and we eventually popped out on a highway heading in the right direction I hoped. On the way out I passed a bank and ATM. I checked on the exchange rate. It’s $6.50 for 1 Chinese Yen. The girl in the bank was veryhelpful. I gave her a big Xiexie ni (pronounced shea shea nee (thankyou) to which she said ‘just ‘shea shea is ok.’ Lingo like a local I love it!! A way out of town the road signs started to include the written name of the places under the chinese writing yay relief. I stopped by the roadside when I first saw a sign for Fangcheng and knew for sure we were on track. I just sat there with the biggest idiot grin on my face so happy with ourselves!!!!!!!! The weather was great, overcast but warm and I just had a t-shirt on which is the first time for ages and felt good. We got right into the cycling from there. It was fun to practice and get into the swing of ‘neehows’ and all smiles for the local folk. I am very happy to be here. It’s not going to be easy traveling to say the least but I’m into it. One thing I appreciate from our travels to date is the amount of emotional energy I spend each day. If this energy is positive it gives back to the tank. Ifits negative it depletes. Both also breed like rabbits. Positive vibes make lots of positive vibe babies and vice versa. My positive energy has been often reactive, adolescent and inconsistent. Unconditional effort is such a constant source of positive energy and good stuff. Mines tested under pressure but today was a good good start with the yen dropping somewhat 😉 The road veered from the highway and was full on bumpy with potholes and gravel but it was all good. I was just happy to potter along taking the bumps easy for both of us to get here safe and sound. Rube and I were very content to arrive intact which we did about 3.00pm. Initially we were going to head onto Qinzhou and found the road out. I stopped for a break and realized I was actually really quite shagged A border crossing and 66km was enough for our first day in China :-). As all the buildings are signed in chinese writing I had no idea what was a hotel, guesthouse or hostelwhich are the accommodation options that I read about in China. So I just asked and after lots of points later found a building that looked like every other one. I went inside and there was a hotel reception area yay!!!! 80 Yen or $12.50 i’m all clean and comfy and posting to you fine folk enjoying the aftermath of a huge and very satisfying day. Welcome to china with lots and lots of what I lnow will be challenging but super interesting times ahead. Here we go!!!!! Time for dinner and bed I’m shattered and it’s only 7.30pm. A big day for two little virgos :-). Talk soon x
2 thoughts on “Post # 71 Fancheng via Germany (have to work on the photo-business)”
Congrats on making it to China:-) hope you and Rubes will have an amazing I’ve!!!
All good at his end -will try and email you a more detailed update shortly.
Take good care of yourself:-)
Yeaaah were in china …sounds busy …looking forward to history …you’ll be fine …turn every negativity into a positive ,somehow …we’re all well at work …we ..or jack should I say ..still talk about you every day ….peeps are following u ..but don’t reply ….I tell them YOU HAVE TO?…she’ll luv the support . XO