dazhai.after three hours of not so great sleep we departed for the rice terraces. only four of the girls wanted to go so it was brittney, michelle, rachel and i. we took two buses in order to get to dazhai, the village we were staying in, and that took about three hours.
when we arrived the woman who owned the guest house met us and led us up the path to her house. as we were walking we were followed and pestered by women with baskets on their backs, offering to put our bags in them. these women do this all day every day. they still wear traditional clothing and their hair is really long. we didn’t want to pay to have them carry our things so we just kept walking. after a while we regretted that decision and would have gladly paid the 10 kuai to have some help because the walk to our guest house wasn’t a mere walk-it was a hike. with sweat dripping down my face and my shoulders and legs aching, i along with my three friends finally made it to the top of the hill (not the very top but we were basically staying at the highest house there) and checked into our rooms. that night we had dinner, walked around the village, ate some wild rice cooked in bamboo, and froze our butts off. we didn’t have coats or anything so we retired early for the night and got a good 12 hours of sleep. the next morning we woke up to a beautiful sight. the sun was rising and the rice terraces were breathtaking. we enjoyed the best breakfast i’ve had since leaving home. it consisted of a fruit cup, chocolate milk, a tomato and cheese omelet, two slices of toast with jam, and freshly squeezed oj. it was amazing.
after breakfast we went on beautiful two hour hike to the top of the terraces. words cannot describe what it was like. one second it felt like we were in the jungle and the next we were on top of the rice terraces. i fell quite a few times (it’s become a reoccurring thing for me lately, i don’t know why i’ve become so klutzy), took some sweet pictures, and sang “in the jungle” in the jungle. it was quite the experience. the day was quickly disappearing so we said our goodbyes to the people of Dazhai and went to catch a bus down the mountain. we started getting worried about making it to guilin in time to catch our train to beijing so we jumped in a van with five old men instead of waiting for the bus (the owner of the guest house we stayed at helped arrange it, don’t worry. we’re not that crazy.). there was a huge traffic jam so it took twice as long to get down the mountain and by this time we were starting to panic. the guys in the van knew we needed to get on a bus to