Orient Express 09 travel blog

The hanging coffin

the sampan with the boatmen

Today has been a much slower pace. We went off on a ferry and met up with some sampans. They were as old as the old frogs I think. They all took in water.

The boatmen rowed us up the river and back for an hour 20 mins. The scenery was absolutely stunning. The best thing was the hanging coffin. There is a long narrow crevice where the local people have placed a coffin into it. It seems to just be suspended there. Actually there are 6 in that crevice all together but you can only see one from the river. The river is full off river snakes which are v poisonous apparently. So the story goes... if the boatmen get bitten, the snake either bites off the finger or if it just injects them with venom, they have to cut their own finger off so the poison doesn’t spread through their systems. I guess it does something to their respiratory system. We had a bit of drama on the boat... One of our group thought they’d lost their money that they’d put into a kitty with their friends. It was 1200 Yuan. After a big panic, it was eventually discovered when they got back on the boat that it had been in the lady’s bag, not in the man’s bag all the time. Made us all feel bad though because you think you are amongst thieves.

The food on the boat has been significantly better than that in the towns. We are enjoying this much more, but I don’t think we are eating much rice anymore. There is one problem though... when we go to shore all the boats line up next to each other and we had to walk past the kitchen windows where we saw the mops hanging right next to the bok choy. None of us are eating the bok choy now. Nor am I eating any other kind of steamed veg. I’ve been sticking to the meat.

I’m happy now... I’ve found champagne on the menu, so I might give that a go tonight, but if its like the stuff we had at the captains welcome last night I might not! They opened and poured it about an hour/hour and a half before we got to drink it. So it was flat and warm... yum! Not... 

They don’t do cold drinks here, everything is tepid.

This afternoon has been very restful. We’ve really been taking it easy. There was an opportunity to listen to Vincent ‘embellish’ the talk on painting inside the snuff bottles... funnily enough we gave it a miss. Later there will be an opportunity to hear him edit the calligraphy talk as well.

We think tonight we might just continue our bludging.

PS... t5hats exactly what we eid... We drank awful red wine in aqnd thenn trundled of to bed D&K's room

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