Yesterday was a chilly day and as we awoke entirely surrounded by clouds, we were quite content that our lodgings for the evening had provided electric blankets!
The four of us shared our last meal together at breakfast, where we enjoyed congee, a sort of rice porridge that is a common breakfast food here. You could add pickled carrots, sugar and soy sauce as desired. There were also fried eggs and these delicious savory pancakes that came with scallions.
From there it was a long trek down the wet mountain to the actual village of Daizhai. Guillaume and Neo wanted to catch the bus back to Guilin so we hurriedly made our way to the parking area. It was a bit more complicated for Lori and I to get back to Ping’An (where we had left our belongings), as it involved getting dropped off at a bridge and waiting for another bus that came every two hours. We decided we might be better off waiting for a later bus and decided to hike around the truly stunning Dazhai valley.
If you want to come and see the rice terraces, my advice is to skip Ping’An entirely and come straight to Dazhai. The scenery is so much more spectacular there and apparently tourists are taking the hint, as there was quite the building boom happening at Dazhai.
We hiked back up the mountain to check out the sights and explore a nearby village before heading back down and back to Ping’An a few hours later.
As cold as it was yesterday morning in Dazhai, it was considerably colder in Ping’An, with its unique position perched on the side of a mountain. And see, here’s the issue. The villagers there live in simple wooden houses. There is no heating and no insulation. The only thing separating you from the outside elements is a very thin piece of wood. In fact it was slightly warmer outside than it was inside last night!
Last night was pretty miserable evening because Lori and I were so damned cold. We were both sleeping under two thick quilts and still wearing most of our clothing (and even our winter hats!) It was not my alarm that woke me up this morning, but the fact that my quilt had slipped onto the floor and I was suddenly freezing. It was so cold that when I put on my glasses this morning, my body heat caused them to steam up!
At this point, we both seriously doubted our plans to head further north. If it was this cold all the way down here, what would it feel like 1,000km north?
We caught an early bus back to Longshen and then trudged on Sanjiang, capital on a special autonomous minority region and gateway to a world of nail-less Drum Towers and “Wind and Rain” Bridges.
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