GUILIN TO CHANGSHA TRAIN
Trip Start Mar 29, 2009
12Trip End Jun 2009
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A gentleman from Iowa stopped in. He had be coming to China for several years and is retired like me. He really likes Yangshuo and is interested in doing some sort of total immersion tourism where the tourist come for a couple of weeks and learns as much a possible about china. Maybe even live with a Chinese family. We talked about similar programs in Mexico and thought that Yangshuo had some possibilities for such a program.
We have introduced a new line of food at the Juice Bar, Sushi.
As with every weekend we have 5 to 10 children in for English.
4-13-09 Nice day
It seems like when ever I try to leave town everything thing happens. The plan today was to rest and then go to Guilin in the afternoon and catch a train to Changsha. The first delay was I was requested to see one of the owners of the four biggest English training schools in Yangshuo. He would come for only a few minutes and wanted my ideas of something. Very mysterious. He came with several other people and stayed for over two hours. He had heard about my tutoring programs and helping kids with no money and would like to help. What a surprise and a welcome one to. We said we would meet again by the end of the week. All ready to leave a little late for Guilin, second delay. Rauri, my south African friend was having a scavenger hunt this afternoon and forgot to tell me that about 50 students would be coming and as a treat he wanted to order them some of our quickly become famous Sushi. Everyone went into panic mood. By 5 we had everything ready. Finally off to Guilin we still should be able to get a sleeping (bed) berth. On arrival at about 7:30pm the train station was pack. Got in line and up to the window and found that the only available train to Changsha was at 2:30am and it only have one seat and one standing room ticket left. All the sleepers were booked for the next 2 weeks and nothing was available at all tomorrow.
So we had to do it. How bad could it be??????? The seats held 3 people on one side of the aisle and 2 on the other then a set facing you. So total of ten in each group. The train car held according to sign and number of numbered seats 118. But that left out the 32 plus people in each and every car of more then 20 cars and every inch was taken. Oh yes then you add their luggage and yes of course some livestock (I only saw baby chicks and ducks). Lets see where next, to the bathrooms that make plane bathrooms look like deluxe suites or to the fact that the international symbol for NO SMOKING is not understood (even though about every 2 hours a train POLICE person comes through to remind them. Or should I go to the fact that this is a semi-express only 6 or 7 station stops, but we did have over 5 ten to fifteen minute pull over to the side and let the fast trains go by. The train left about 30 minutes let and took over 10 hours to get there. But now I can check off my list "TRAVEL BY TRAIN IN CHINA". Oh yes we only stayed in Changsha for 5 hours because the only ticket we could get with sits left that evening. I TRAVELED ON A TRAIN IN CHINA OVERNIGHT TWICE. Note to self do not do again, unless you take a soft sleeper and ticket all four beds. All in all I did get to see life in China close up and personal.
Changsha is a very nice city and I do want to return. I only was able to drive through because I spent most of my time at the University. Very nice campus up against the hills there are many parts more like a park the campus.
4-15-09 Very nice day
Arrived back in Guilin at 5:30am. Went right out side the station and got a very nice deluxe bus for Yangshuo, only 15 yuan just over $2.00. Just got settled in when the bus stopped and we had to change buses. I guess this one did not get enough people so we combined with a smaller older slower bus that packed every inch of space including stools down the aisle. Oh well there are a lot of people in China. Got to the Juice Bar just as they were opening and told them that I would be back for lunch if anyone wanted me. This evening as the sun was setting a balloon was upover the hill. That things looked liked it landed right on top.