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Sunday, May 09, 2004

Sunday! Day on the Lake!

This was one of the most wnderful days that I have
spent in a while ther than the ending where I felt
that I might truely die. Mr. Wh and I wke up this
morning and packed ur bags. Went dwnstares and checked
out then headed dwn the street to get smething t eat.
We had sup and ndles fr dreakfeast along with this
awaming Tibetan Monk Milk Tea which was incredibly
sweet. After eating, we caught the number tw bus and
headed dwn the street t Lake Erhi. The scene was
beautiful. Rice fields went n frever. We gt there and
decided t go ut n bats and explre the islands. At
first, I was not excited, but it turned ut t be ne f
the mst fantastic experiences. The Lake was enrmus,
and it was a little like deepsea fishing. I enjoyed
riding as I had not been on a bat since last summer.
The wind blwing against yu face and the waves splasing
n the frnt f the bat. It was glorius. The muntains
against the water were also fantastic. Eventually, we
approached the first island. There was a large temple
sitting on top of the muntain. The island was
different from the main land. The terrain was desert
like and there were lots of cactuses. We climbed up
and lked at sme f the temples. Mst of them are either
Taoist or Buddhist Goddess of Mercy as she is supposed
to live in a suth seas island. We explored. They made
lots of mosaics with shells. The dragons on the
temples were made ut of shells from the lake. It was s
beautiful. The flowers were all in bloom, and it was
stunnin to lok out over the lake and see what loked t
be the sea with Mountains in the distance. We bught a
few suviners then we caught the bat t the next island.
We pent several hours here. The island is a fishing
village. The huses were all very beautiful. The are
put together with red sandstone and mud. The are all
located right alng the waters edge then g up int the
mountain. It loked very Meditranean. We wandered along
the water then went thrugh the seafod market and saw
huge clams and fish and eels, and every kind of fish
that you could imagine. We then went and loked at a
local temple. It was very beautiful. Dedicated t the
three kings wh usted t rule thier own nation in the
area. We left there and saw a cave whos opening was a
huge dragn head. We walked through the cbblestone
alleyways and red brick homes. It was s amazing. We
walked along the other side f the island by the water
then went back and caught the boat. We got off and
took a carraige ride back int the city. We went
through fields of rice and wheat. Very beautiful. We
got to the city and ate lunch. It was a local
specialty of fish soup and rice noodles. It was pretty
good. We then waled arund the market and finally went
back t the htel and freshened up. The hotel was very
neat. The walls were cobble stone but in the walls
were different pots that were sticking ut a little. In
the plots were planted different fplants. It was very
neat. There was bambo everywhere. The urinals were als
intresting. They were huge clay vases that had been
broke, so they made them int urinals. We walked arund
some more and loked at all f the beautiful girls
dressed in their traditional costumes. Tmorrw is the
biggest festival f the year, s they were all
practicing. Saw a couple f dragon dancers practicing
down the street. We eventually went back t relax. I
was nt feeling very well and had not been feeling well
mst of the day. My teeth ached. All of them. There was
a place on the rof of my mouth that was sore. The
center of both of palms hurt. My neck was sre, and my
chest was so tight. It wuld get worse throughout the
night. At sme point It hurt from my chest t my throat,
and I was really scared. We went and caught the bus t
Lijing, and while waiting in the bus station, I simply
felt awful. The bus ride made it wrse as it was
turning and curving. This made me naucious alng with
Mr. Who. I was so happy when we got there. Mr Wh
talked to a taxi driver who tried t find us roms, but
they were all booked. Somehow we and another guy ended
up staying in this familys home. It was very beautiful
with a traditional courtyard. I was ready for bead as
I did nt feel well. Mr who made me eat fried rice with
eggs. I ate then drank sme of the mans rice whiskey
thinking that it wuld kill anything. I did sme praying
then went to sleep.

Monday: The Vinice of the Orient.

Well, I woke up this morning and felt a little better,
but I was still sre frm my thrat t my chest. I took
sme bare asprin then went dwn and washed up. The
family then invited us t breakfeast. It was the
traditional Baka bread, local fried eggs, biled eggs,
and rice porridge which I put sugar in to make it
taste better. We then headed out the dor. We were
going t go to the snwy muntain until we fund out hw
much it was then decided against it. At this point, we
split from the other boy who was with us. We decided
to go explore the old town. At first I was not
impressed. We loked at all the different shops with
traditional goods. They had some neat things. We hiked
up the tops of the streets and found our way to a
beautiful park. Got in and loked at all f the cbbled
stone moasics they were beautiful. The trees in the
park were very ld. The best part was that you could
see the rof tops f the city from the hill. They were a
spectacular sight. All traditional, and they seemed t
go on forever. We went up into the temple on the hill
then walked around the alleyways in the city. They
were so beautiful. We went t another park then headed
dwn the street. At this pint, we became lost in all f
the alleys ways and stores. They were like a maze of
traditinal folk goods. There are several things which
I want to buy. The best part of the city are all of
the canals which run along the sides f the streets.
There are woden bridges which are used t go int the
stres. Water is flowing all over the city. There are
springs everywhere. The people wash their clothes in
the canals and bath from them. They are s pretty and
clear. Nt very deep. All of the bridges were the best
part f the city. After loking around I cnvinced Mr.
Who t g t a village n the outskirts of the city called
Basiah. We got there and the taxi dropped us off. We
then started wondering arund. The village was
beautiful. Red mud briks were the main brik used t
build the village. It was everywhere, and it was
beautiful. It lked very middle eastern. We watched
some f the wommen digging the mud and forming the
bricks. They were working on one of their farm houses.
The village was simply amazing. We gt lost in all of
the side streets. I tok many pictures. It was odd
because the snowy muntain is in the background, but
palm trees are growing in the peoples yards. The
flwers were all in blom and smelled amazing. Ever clor
imaginable. We also peeked int many of the court
yards. Many had these intresting looking woden
structures which they were using t dry some frm of
vegtable or crop on. We spent a long time here and
went by the frescos. After we ate ur beef nodles and
rice ndles fr lunch, we then caught a taxi back with
about seven other people. Unfortunatly, the taxi ran
out f gas and somehw Mr. Who and I ended up pushing
the Minivan to the gas station. At that point, he
filled up and took us to our home. At this point I
wanted a shower. The people in the house showed me
where it was and I washed away the day. Mr. Who then
tok his shower and we walked back down town. Wandered
through the maze of alleys ways and enjoyed the scene.
Eventually, we were ready to eat. Mr. Who found a
restaurant, but they did not have traditional fod, so
they led us out the back door into someones htel who
then fed us up some traditional ht pot. It was good,
but ht pot is very hot, and it is warm outside. We ate
then walked t the internet cafe where I am right now.
We are ging t g home and try to do the George
tomorrow. Not all of it just some. I am feeling
better, but I am ging t take it easy. Plan on ging to
the dctor when I get back to Chengde. Oh well, must
go. I am having fun. Talk to yu later.

Christopher

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