22nd April – Yuanyang to Luoping

This morning we rose early to walk up to a viewing platform to see the sunrise at about 6:30, however there is fog everywhere and we can’t even see the rice padis.  We gather this isn’t an abnormal occurrence as there is a large picture to show us what we missed.

After a delicious bowl of noodles for breakfast we leave our guest house in the mountains in a very thick fog and wind our way down passing the rice padis and banana plantations onto the main road.  We have a 390 km drive mostly on highways to our destination.

We drive through a region with wineries & grapes growing on the side of the road, so we’ll have to see if we can try some of the local wine.

We pass through a large rapeseed and oil producing area where the seeds are being manually harvested with sickles.

We pass through a large vegetable growing area with plantings & hot houses for kilometres after kilometres where the land is being turned with hoes.

Women perform manual work on the roadside as well as the men.

There is a huge amount of construction taking place with infrastructure such as rail lines, roads & bridges as well as apartment buildings.

Driving on the provincial roads is very slow as the trucks mostly don’t move to the right they’ll sit in the middle of their lane. Trucks & cars all overtake on the wrong side of the road even when there is oncoming traffic which makes for interesting driving .  If  we don’t push hard to overtake we don’t get anywhere.  

We’ve mastered driving on the highways with the lanes & overtaking, slowing to 80kph for the tunnels and the speed cameras, however in the cities we’re still unsure who gives way to who.  It seems that when we get to an intersection they all stop for us & let us go through together, which is very good of them, but I suspect it shouldn’t be our right of way, but we take it graciously. I’m sure it won’t be like this when get to Shanghai & Beijing.

The town we stay in tonight only has a population of about 500,000 people and it has very wide streets with hardly any traffic which suits us.  Our hotel is enormous the reception area is about the size of a football field, too large to fit into a photo.  The bed in our room is 2 king size beds made up as one, it’s huge we had to email each other to say good night!

We purchased 2 bottles of the local red wine on the way to the restaurant tonight where we had a beef hotpot with mint, wombok & other greens that we didn’t recognise. The wine was interesting more like a fortified wine but drinkable and at $26 for 2 bottles there are no complaints about the cost.

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