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a travel blog by arterra

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Hooroo from Hefei!

Hefei, China

Hello there!

Well we're on the road. After a few months of teaching we decided to go and see more of China....so we've had a week in a city, up sort of near Shanghai. So we're backpacking 'Terracini style'.

We had accumulated a few odds and ends that I felt we really couldn't do without (DVDs, clothes, pegs, you know just those sort of essential things really!), so we posted a 20 kg box to Hefei before we left Dongguan. Our plan was to work in Hefei and settle down for a while....but after being here a few days the air pollution really got to us - we were waking up with sore throats, and I started to get the old allergy feeling in my nose and the very attractive 'puffy eye'!!!

After having a look around Hefei for the week we were wondering what to do...and now we are off to a city that we were planning to visit at some stage anyway, and one we haven't been to before.....I'll let you know when we get there!

Can you imagine us leaving the hotel this morning...luckily we had help from an Aussie guy who has been very kind to us this week in showing us around the city. He heaved the 20kg box up onto his shoulder, Andrew followed carrying his backpack and notebook computer, then there was me - carrying my backpack (weighing at least 10kg) and my handbag, and then in the line came 2 porters from the hotel, dragging our suitcases, which are absolutely packed to the hilt (Andrew had to sit on his to get it closed!!). Yes, we are really good at backpacking. The porters followed us down the road and across the main street of Hefei, dodging and weaving in between bikes, cars, people etc.

We got across the road and the porters waved goodbye to us and then we made it into the travel agent where we sorted out some tickets to our new destination.

We are having a fabulous time and enjoying this new found life of spontaneity!!! Our plane doesn't go until tonight, so we are in a cafe at the moment.

If we stay in China much longer we will have to say goodbye to some of the possessions we have accumulated...(you would laugh if you could see some of the things in the 20kg box...one of them is a box of Lipton tea bags because I really can't trust all cities in China to stock good old normal tea, and I can't do without it!!)...We may not be laughing so much though when we get to the airport and find out how much excess baggage costs!! Oh well.

Bye for now,

permalink written by  arterra on November 23, 2007 from Hefei, China
from the travel blog: China Adventure
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Home of the Giant Pandas

Chengdu, China

Hi there!

Chengdu - home of the Giant Pandas! What a great place....this city has everything...and yes we were happy to see Starbucks again, isn't that sad!!

Today we visited the Panda base, about 10 km's out of town...we had organised to be taken out there by Mr Wang, through a local guesthouse....it turned out that we were the only 2 going...and our pick up was at 7.10am...nice and early because it's best to see the Pandas munching on their bamboo for breakfast. Mr Wang had trouble finding our hotel though so there were lots of phone calls back and forth - we rang Mr Wang (he said "wait, wait"), then he rang us about 20minutes later, speaking Chinese (hmmm, a few swear words perhaps?!), then we rang the guesthouse, then Mr Wang rang the guesthouse, then the guesthouse rang us. Then the guesthouse rang our hotel (to get someone who could explain the location in Chinese). Then someone from our hotel came down and signalled for us to follow him. We followed him around the block, he stopped to ask directions from someone, and then we kept going. Then we saw a guy waving at us impatiently. He said something about '3' and waved his arms (like he had driven around 3 times or something). Then we hopped in the van and he took off - really took off!! We got to the Panda Base and he hurried us along - it was almost a sprint to the Pandas!!! I guess he didn't want us to miss out, seeing as though we were about an hour behind schedule!

The pandas did not disappoint - they were gorgeous (see pictures).

Off to bed now after our early start....

permalink written by  arterra on November 29, 2007 from Chengdu, China
from the travel blog: China Adventure
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