Last year I visited China with another teacher and 16 fantastic students from my school. I’ve just found out recently that I will be returning to do the same trip in late October/ November. The trip was run by World Expeditions and was pretty arduous – I never knew there were that many stone steps in China. They were everywhere; from the rice terrace fields, to Mt. Huoshan to the Great Wall. The experience was life changing – China is a truly wonderful place with lovely people. Negotiating deals in the markets was one of my favourite pursuits – if you did it with a smile and a bit of a laugh you seemed to be able to strike some pretty good bargains (at least I thought so anyway!!)
I managed to lose not one but two cameras while I was over there; one on a sleeper train and one at the Summer Palace - no such thing as lost property when you visit places like the Summer Palace. Imagine this scenario: you happen to leave a camera that belongs to your fellow teacher hanging on a hook in a toilet (because you thought it would be a better place than the floor!) You leave the toilet block and walk away. Ten minutes have passed and you see a tranquil scene that you think is a great photo opportunity. You reach for camera and realise it is not there. Remember hook in toilet. Run, yes, run, back to toilet but camera is gone. Return to fellow teacher and report bad news. On return to Australia visit camera store and purchase new camera for fellow teacher rather than risk prospect of never being spoken to again!!
Thanks goodness fellow teacher took photos and sent them to me – a very good camera woman too I might add! This is one of my favourite pictures from the Yangshou region; the Karst mountains are hauntingly beautiful – I look forward very much to retuning there later in the year. And of course, you couldn’t be there for 18 days without visiting the Great Wall. Truly a wondrous sight.