Hong Kong to Shenzhen
approx 10:30 – Train from Hong Kong
As the Group (Dad, Brain, Elaine, Lynna and myself) traveled north into China, I was struck by how many mountainous regions there were. Apartments with mountain backgrounds.
I have noticed that several of the hill are covered with cement faces, but as one looks closer, nature does seem to be reclaiming what is hers.
The country side is still very green. There also seems to be a real division between what is “man’s hand” and what is mother natures.
Even though man has cleared for his own use, mother nature will not wane.
While waiting for the train in front of us to move… I sit and watch a white crane hunting in an abandoned rice field.
There is no water in the fields, but the barriers are still there. The only water is in the aqueducts that once served the fields.
A second crane flies by, and the pair flies off together.
Small white flowers now grow in the rice fields.
approx 13:00 – Shenzhen, China
At the train station, we were “attacked” by a poor Chinese family wanting to help with our bags. There was a mother with a young child attached to her, while a young brother and sister remained persistent in asking to help.
On the way to lunch, I noticed a large 8″-10 rat laying dead in the street.
A little further up the road, I noticed a neighborhood of homes that were nearly leveled to the ground.
The restaurant in the hotel had large plate-glass windows that looked out over the impoverished neighbor that we had just walked by minutes earlier.
Shenzhen, China to Guangzhou, China
approx 14:00 – Starting out to the Shenzhen Airport then on to Guangzhou
Shenzhen seems to be surrounded by mountains on all sides.
The highway we were driving over was just recently opened.
As I looks about, there is construction EVERY WHERE!!
There is a large contrast between what has been done, and what needs to be done.
The On/Off ramps to the Highways are NON-EXISTENT! In some cases, one could travel on the roads that were a combination of dirt and asphalt. Many places on the “paved” highway had spot that were just being redone.
One would be driving along, and then would have to change lanes because they were redoing a road joint.
In the States, the section would have simply be closed off for the repair time. Here, they simply place two traffic cones. If the workers were working on/in the median, there would also be just two cones. No warning!!
There were other points on intermittent highways where one would not see lane lines or traffic lights. Just CHAOS. Cars, bikes, motor cycles, trucks seemed to do what ever they could get away with, and some how, they did without ANY accidents!!
If there were “formal” On/Off ramps, the driver still had to deal with dirt, bumps and lumps in the road as well as bricks, rocks, etc.
Once on the Main Highway, the roads were rather nice. The driver, Mr. Fong, on several occasions hit 90+ mph, even though the speed limited was 100 kph, but then again, two things: 1) Out of the blue traffic cones; 2) Humans on the road working.
It was very odd to be traveling along, and then see someone on the side of the road, sweeping the shoulder with a long reed broom.
There was a constant battle with what was on the highway. I saw men working in the middle of NO WHERE. Bikes, motor cycles, trucks, taxis’, cars, etc.
On numerous occasions, I saw vehicles broken down! It did not seem to matter where or what!
The only cars that really seemed to move on a regular basis were the BMWs, Mercedes, Lexus’, high-end Honda’s or Toyota’s.
There were many Toll Booths were under construction.
When traffic had to converge, it seemed to be that who ever had the biggest or most expensive vehicle got in first.
As we finally got into Guangzhou, the traffic was far more local, but there was an increased injection of bikes (2 & 3 wheel types), people walking, cars, trucks, etc.
I saw both cars and motor cycles pass into the opposite traffic lane with no fear to pass slower vehicles.
At one point, we saw that someone had been “pulled-over” for something, and I could only wonder why. I had seen SO MANY traffic violations that it seemed absurd.
At one point, Dad thought he saw a group of people standing around a dead man along the side of the road.
approx 17:00 – Arrived at The White Swan Hotel on the Pearl River, Guangzhou, China
We got here approx. 17:00 (11/8)…
Brian, Dad and I sat in the hotel lounge while we waited for Elaine, Lynna and Robert.
They finally showed up some time around 18:30. The three of us were really beginning to worry, As it turned out, the “new” driver at “we” picked up @ the Shenzhen airport, did not know where he was going in Guangzhou.
Also, there was a crew flying in that got hung up in Chinese Customs because of some of the signs that they were bringing in.
approx 21:00 – Dinner
At dinner, which was help in the France room of a nice restaurant around two very large round tables.
We has several dishes that were quite interesting.
We had snake, which does really taste like dark meat chicken, and the comment was made that snake was “Chinese ribs”.
There was a baby duck. When the bowl was first placed on the lazy Susan, and spun by me, the head was sticking out of the broth looking at me!
Rabbit was also served, but I decided because I am not a big fan.
At one point, Oli, saw that I was using the hot sauce, and he tried to warn me about how hot they were, but I said that it was mild, so he and several other gentleman ordered some small green peppers which were offered to me as a shot.
I took one chew on it as they requested, I went for my beer, and they insisted that I not drink, so I forcefully put down my beer in a gesture to show that I did not need it.
We drank beer, brandy and gallons of tea!!
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