Trip Start Jan 16, 2009
Trip End May 26, 2009

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Flag of China  , Zhejiang,
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

So we manage to lose everyone else, so it's just the two of us, all romantic like and then the weather goes off.
We got to Hangzhou from Shanghai in 2 hours and it took us another 2 hours to get to our hostel. Firstly we got some help from a girl who was sat opposite us on the train, and found a bus that would take us most of the way from the station to the lake. The bus moved slowly through gridlock traffic and seemed to take quite a while. The driver told us to get off and so we did. Into not just torrential rain but a thunderstorm no less.
We stood in the street trying to hail a taxi for maybe half an hour, but they all kept shaking their heads and driving off.

Oh God.

We must have looked pretty helpless because a 16 year old tiny chinese girl came and talked to us. After talking to a taxi man she told us that the problem was they didn't know where our hostel was.

Oh God.

Luckily the girl's Dad said he'd help us out, so we hopped in their very nice car with the entire family and set off. The lake was actually quite close, but the hostel was very hard to find, off the road and through a car park. We drove up and down the lakeside for quite some time, Dad on the phone trying to find out where we might want to go. I had just about started to give up hope when, like a shining beacon in the storm we saw the YHA sign. Never been so happy to see a hostel.
We checked in for 10Yuan more than hostelbookers.com said the room would be and met one of our room mates. I say met, he kind of ignored us and was all Chinese. We went to tried get food but the bar had stopped serving food so we went next door where the cafe was still open, thanky lordy.

The internet here isnt the best, and the computers definaltey did something odd when they saw the sheer size of my memory card. Not impressed.

The cheery man in the room it turned out, snores like a trooper. Louder and louder as the night went on. I (ER) actually slept fine, EW however almost killed him for depriving her of sleep. That and she's had the sniffles since Russia which, under the current weather conditions, have just kept getting worse so now she may well die.

So Emma White is feeling... not the best, poor Emma White, please send your donations of tissue, lempsips and drugs to Emma White c/o Nurse Raywood, China.

This morning it wasnt raining!! We hired bicycles and went around the lake. It's beautiful, though it was quite hazy and damp so I dont think we could appreciate it's splendor. We had matching bikes with little baskets and everything, but no bell. And the Chinese love horns and bells. There is a massive causway through the lake, that says no cycling all the way down it, but we copied the rest of the people there and cycled the whole way. Saw men in boats and humpback bridges and pagodas galore! We found the biggest pagoda, Lifeng something, it had an escalator up to it and inside seemed only to be a lift. A very nice lift, but still not much else. Apparently they'd rebuilt it 10times or something because it kept falling down. Oh dear. The views were.... hazy due to the weather, so not really views at all.

We went to a Carrefour supermarket to stock up for our 24h train ride tommorrow to Xiamen. The hardest decision was what noodles to buy. We've had some pretty terrible instant noodles in the past so were careful to spent at least 30p and not get chilli and not get beef and not get seafood. So much choice, you have to be careful. Also have to be careful with the bread. Emma W's not been the same since dipping sausage in sweet mayonaise and then wrapping in sweet bread. Definatley checked the ingredients, I think we have wheat not sweet bread. Will keep you informed.

We cycled back to the hostel and returned our bikes all in one piece, despite the best efforts of Chinese drivers. We both needed showers, but the hot water is only on at odd times, so Emma W had a nap, as now we were alone in our room and I faffed around until shower o'clock. We met the other Chinese man who is in the room, he was very nice and spoke awesome english. He seemed very concerned about Emma W's cold and wrote down in Chinese a cold and flu remedy for us to take to a chemist. He then laughed at our attempts at writing chinese, saying "It's worse than children's writing". Maybe he wasn't so nice...

We had tea the same place as yesterday as asomehow managed to miss food at the bar again. And that brings us to now. Blogging it up.

Tommorrow we are on a 24h20m train to Xiamen, so we will arrive there for my birthday, woo! Apparently the chinese aren't big on brithdays and celebrate everyones on new year.. But I am sure they won't mind being told repeatedly it's my birthday.. over and over..

Lots of love Emma R
And the very very ill Emma W
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salix53 on

Poor Emma Wubbleyew, I hope the running hooter isn't spoiling your trip. Sounds like nice nurse Emma Rwood is looking after you. Keep wrapped up well and get plenty of rest and try to keep away from foreigners. Spring is on its way in Beverley too, buds bursting and all that. Like the pictures very Chinesse. Sams settling in to his new surroundings. I've send him his usb wire so should have some pictures from him soon.
Till the next time, keep sniffing,
Dad. x

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