As I wrote last week, we have had an energetic and fulfilling trip. After a slight delay of the coach, we set off on our excursion. As we were told that we will drive for approximately four hours, we made ourselves as comfortable as possible. We now know that punctuality and reliability regarding scheduling and planning are not just Chinese strengths! To put it in other words, it seems to not be part of the Chinese mentality. Fortunately we were not in a hurry.
Anyway we finally arrived in Sakura Valley (樱花峪) at 1:30 p.m. First of all we needed to have lunch there. Our tour guide Naima had reserved lunch for us on site already. We expected a colourful environment. However, the dull weather didn’t allow any sun to shine through the clouds. So the cherry trees were not as spectacular as we had expected them to be. In the Valley we had two hours of ‘free-time’ . Some of us used the time to explore paths off the beaten trail in other parts of the valley, and others took pictures and tried some of the food in the shop while strolling around. In the end, everyone found their own way to relax, taking in the fresh air and wandering around the Valley.
By the way – In China, cherry blossoms symbolise spring, virtue, grace and inner strength (because they bloom in cooler seasons).
Shortly after 4:00 p.m. we continued on our trip back to the city of Xinfeng, to check in to our hotel. After having a really close look in our double rooms, the interns group met again in the hotel lobby, to head out for place to eat dinner. It did take a little longer than expected until we found one place where all 16 people could be seated. As we ordered many dishes to feed everyone, it took a really long time even though we needed to take a bus to the hot springs 20km away, at 7 p.m.
However all dishes arrived only shortly before 7:00 p.m.! Things got a little bid chaotic as the bus left without us at 7:20 p.m. and once had found some cabs to bring us to the place, Naima and the Chinese groups came back to pick us up! As they needed to wait a long in the bus for us, some of the Chinese people seemed a little annoyed!! Thank God Phil could calm things down and apologise to them in Chinese over the microphone!!
The hot springs closed at 09:30 p.m.! So we had only one hour to relax there. The water was awesome and hot. They even opened another bath for us.
Once we had arrived back at the city and had a short shower , we met up again for some midnight beers. It was a fun evening, we played some drinking games while chatting and having a good time. As one of our interns quit drinking, he needed to stand up every time he lost to play his guitar and sing with it!
After a short but intensive night’s sleep, all of us had breakfast by ourselves. We continued the trip to the Yunji Mountain (云髻山) at 09:30 a.m.! It’s a provincial nature protection area. Everyone of us expected a lot of hiking that day, even though some of us were still exhausted. As Gianna wrote in her blog, everyone had an awesome time, hiking several parts of the mountain. Even as nobody could reach the peak in the few hours we had, we still had an adventurous time there. The mountain, which lies in Xingfeng County, has an area of 2.700 hectares. It’s highest peak’s height is 1.438 meters and it’s the highest one in Guangdong.
We started our return journey home to Zhuhai after lunch. Everyone was tired and felt sleepy. Suddenly there was silence on the bus …
All in all it was a great trip. 🙂