Tuesday, January 20, 2009
OBAMA is finally president!!
China has been a whirlwind, a tornado! We've stayed at four places in 5 days, and are moving on again tonight.
This kind of traveling is exhausting- but we're on a mission. Once we reach Lijiang (tomorrow morning 6am after an overnight bus) we will stay put- for a whole three days! Pri's gotta be back in India soon, so we gotta stick to a schedule. Man, I miss the lazy days in Pushkar. There are pros and cons to everything though, and I am thoroughly enjoying this trip. A little slower, perhaps, would have been ideal, but I'm not complaining. In fact, I am grateful- I have so much! And now, Barack Obama is officially president. Watching the inauguration ceremony last night, on a computer in the lobby of the hostel where we had just arrived on a plane from Guilin, standing up and sharing earphones with another American girl, we all had glows on our faces that matched the glow from the computer. Even though the computer froze up as soon as he started speaking, the feeling emanating from the thousands of people on the screen in DC was palpable in the air- Wow, I wish I could have been there!
Everyone I've been talking to about the new president is in agreement that although he is up against a huge machine, he is a definite change for the better. There is a new spirit of HOPE everywhere that I've been, and people have a positive impression of the new presidency. Barack has a chance to foster a sense of RESPECT from the international commmunity for the US that no other presidential candidate could have had the potential to create. He has already fostered hope- I hope it filters down to every last one of us, members of humankind, not just the US- to believe in ourselves to live our lives up to our own individual unique highest potential.
Ok, back to the blog! I love spending time here, on the computer, communicating with the world- it makes me feel connected, and that is somehow fulfilling- but I have to be aware of the time, and know that I also have to get out into the world that I am physically in to experience it MORE!
Overnight bus rides with stinky feet blankets.
Guilin caves... So touristy but pretty cool regardless... Especially the cave turtle...
This was at the foot of the Solitary Peak.
Mmmm, dragon fruit
I went rock climbing in Yangshuo yesterday, climbing up steep karst cliff
faces- I just had time to do a half day- it was beautiful.
My guide was great, very safe. I belayed him as he climbed up, lead roping
to put the rope through at the top for me to top rope. It was just the
two of us in the morning, but more people showed up towards noon.
I did 5 climbs in about 3 and a half hours, each one consecutively
more difficult- starting at a 5.8 and ending at a 5.10c- wow! Only
sheer willpower and my guide holding steady at the bottom got me up
the last one. It was a great challenge...
This was my climbing guide Paul- he's been climbing since it came to China ten years ago. He set up a little iPod speaker at the foot of the cliff and we grooved to some reggae tunes- he told me he cut off his dreads a few months back.
While I did that, Pri took a scooter around with another friendly traveler, and hiked up Moon rock, she said it was beautiful! She said there were two elderly women who also hiked up with them, but carrying coolers filled with drinks- that they were expected to buy from at the top! Of course they did...
You can also go mountain biking, hiking, bamboo river rafting (peaceful rafting, not whitewater ;-) take tai chi classes or just shopping- Yangshuo is a picturesque little Chinese town, filled with foreigners on vaction, as well as visiting Chinese tourists. It's totally walkable and pleasant. I will be returning on the tour for a few more days, and I'm really looking forward to it.
We flew to Kunming last night and are sort of mellow today, catching up on email and resting before we take off on a sleeper bus to Lijiang tonight... (oh, I think I already mentioned it...) We might head out right now to do some shopping and walking around and stuff.
More updates later!