SpiderHodge and his amazing fishing comorants

Trip Start Jun 12, 2006
Trip End Jul 01, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Arrrhhhhh Yangshou....after the great wall, easily the nicest place in China.

Not polluted (yet!), stunning limestone hills, winding rivers, paddy fields...this place is great. The small town, as a feel of a backpacker or holiday resort. Really laid back. But also has a number of outside activities.

When I arrived, Suzanne, who I met in Beijing had sorted everything!!!! A boat ride was the first thing on the list. An bus ride and then 4 hour cruise down the Yulong river through the limestone hills...simply beautiful!!! Yes there are people trying to get you to hold there cormorants or ride there water buffalo, but not huge amounts of hassle. A a good way to start the Yangshou adventure. that night i got a stinky head ache from too much dodgy Chinese chemical beer and the drinking abilities of the Irish.

The next day, I awoke to limestone hills again..what a sight!!!! Today
we hired bikes and made our way to moon hill for a trek and more views. Of course we got lost for a couple of hours, maybe a good thing as we saw more of the country. Then sweeted are tits off climbing the hill, however it was worth it for the view.

On the way back we managed to annoy some locals how wanted 1 yuan to take a picture of their water buffalo, then it pissed down with rain. So sweaty, wet and smelly pair returned to the hostel.

The evening was really entertaining. I had seen a documentary in the past of Chinese dudes fishing with birds, I didn't know it was here where they did it....so we went off cormorant fishing!!!!

The poor buggers are tied by their feet to a boat and tied around the neck to stop them swallowing!!! So the local fisherman ride his boat, the birds do a great job catching fish, but cant swallowing them. So when their gullets are full, the birds are hauled onto the boats and strangled until the fish pop out into the basket...a very effective technique. Also got to hold the birds, which are quite tame and don't seemed to worried that they have been robbed of their meal, so they must be fairly well looked after.

The next day, something I had done for a while...climbing. Now I know why. the first and second climbs were fairly easy. the third, ripped my hands apart and took almost an hour to get up...mostly due to an over hang about 15 meters up, which I just couldn't get passed, but stubbornly I would let it beat me!!!!! After losing half my body weigh in sweat and battered, we went back to the hostel and did some brief shopping.

That night a horrific bus ride to the Hong Kong border on a sleeper bus...the drivers here are some of the worst in the world. After no sleep I welcomed a quick and easy border crossing back away from the chaos of China.
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