The sun came out today, at long last....

Trip Start Apr 22, 2012
Trip End Nov 05, 2012

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Flag of China  , Guizhou,
Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Thursday evening now - six days now since I arrived here in Guiyang.  Is likely to be another 2 weeks minimum before I will get my new permits, paperwork and guide to carry on with my trip down to the Laos border.  Amazingly Sylvia is back in one piece, the camper back has been off and the chassis welded and strengthening added, and the back put back on again.  They still have not been able to source a new ABS sensor but are still hopeful they might be able to find something that will do.... - we'll wait and see.  Also they think I need a new tyre on one of the front wheels.
The garage have agreed that Sylvia can stay at their garage until I get the permit to be able to drive her once again.  Will call up to see her next week when Bo, my contact there that speaks English, is back in at work.

I have been having fun with the hotel staff - no one speaks English so it can be a bit of a trial for all concerned.  It appears that you have to pay up front when you use cash, and they can't understand that until today I haven't been sure how long I will be here.  When the cash I haver paid them is not enough to cover the next night's stay I get a phone call from reception at about 1pm.  Can't understand what they are saying so go down to reception and have a 'guess what you want' sort of game.   Now I've sussed that I have to pay something when my credit gets low I was able to go along this morning and pay enough for another 4 or so nights stay.

What was more complicated was trying to tell them that my toilet wasn't working.  I tried miming that one - but not as easy as it sounds without making a complete idiot of yourself......   In the end I was drawing room plans - shooing the room number with an arrow into the door of the room, a bed (miming sleeping with my hands and head), then drawing the bathroom and the shower, sink and toilet and putting a big cross for the toilet.  Still not getting through to them..... someone had a hone with a translator in - typed in toilet, but not sure that particularly helped - but somehow eventually the two receptionists appeared to understand SOMETHING in the bathroom was not working....   So they gave me a key card for  a different room and took the other one off me - I understood they were changing my room - but they couldn't get the idea that I still needed the original key card so that I could get back into this room to get all my stuff and move it to the new room (.... should surely have been very obvious that I would need to do this - you would think.....) - can't believe how long this took, with more drawings of a suitcase, clothes etc being taken out of room 33 and put into room 26!!!!  - and a trip upstairs with the key card to find it wouldn't let me in so another trip back downstairs and more picture drawing.  Finally they got it.......

Can't believe how many trips I had to make to move the stuff from one room to another.  Mind you I've been here getting on for 6 days so things start to accumulate somehow - and have got a few extra things from the camper van on my various trips to see her.  I'm going to have to take a couple of trips to get everything back from here to Sylvia when the time goes to move on.

The rain actually stopped today so thought I would go off and explore again - except the various places I targeted to find - like the CITS (China tourist office) has moved - not at the address given, and the place where I will need to get my Chinese visa extended has been knocked down, and the foreign language bookshop was just Chinese 'Learn to speak English' books for children - but got to explore new bits of the city - and also tracked down the Catholic and Protestant churches that I had seen on the map that John and Kathy, the English couple that I met have lent me.  The Catholic Church was in a particularly delightful little culd-e-sac off a busy road, dwarfed by tall apartment blocks near by.

Then walked to find a park that Kathy had suggested - they hadn't visited but had been recommended to them.  Eventually, after many thwarted attempts found the entrance to the park, and eventually found the path up to the pagoda at the top of the step wooded hill i the park - but there was an open gate in the circular entrance with a couple of signs around in Chinese but that stated the hours 9am-5.30pm.  No one to ask to clarify so took it to mean that the gate would be locked outside these hours.  Decided that I had better check the time before I walked up to the top - so got my phone out and was amazed to find it was 5.31pm - so decided I better hadn't chance ending up the wrong side of the locked gate for the night.... - will go back tomorrow I think now I've discovered how to get into the park etc - only took me 40 minutes to walk home.

Can't get onto google tonight in any shape or form - seems to be a server problem.  All other sites seem ok so must be a google thing - but does mean that I can't have my nightly gmail chat with Roger and my mum via the google site.

Very noisy at the moment outside - and can hear the traffic.  My other room was lovely and quiet - but in other ways it feels good to feel that you are more part of what is going on outside the hotel.  I'll see how well I sleep tonight - and what time the noise wakes me up in the morning.

Visited the COCOA centre yesterday - a real eye -opener - took some photos but they asked that they wouldn't appear on the internet.   You have to so admire the people who are involved in this work   - it is much more than I would be able to do.  If anyone is ever looking for a charity to donate or collect for then it is a very worthwhile cause.  I'm still getting my head around my thoughts on this.


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Mum on

Glad you managed to get out for a walk today.Even our weather was a little better today.

Randi & Erik on

We read your blog, and follow your trip! Sorry about your car! Our best wishes for your trip back to Europe.
Erik wounder what happend to the back wheel. We sit in Germany, cold and windy - 15 degrees C. Enjoy all the pictures in the blog!
We will meet up the friends from Silk Route in Malvern in september, and looking forward to the gathering. Keep well! Best regards from Randi and Erik ( Norway)

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