Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
It’s a long city! And when I say long, I mean it’s a long, long city!
After a day’s forced rest due to rain I checked out of my hotel in Fuzhou undecided on where to go next but with two places in mind, either head south to Putian or north to Ningde and as I knew the Ningde bus left from the south bus station I figured why not simply let the ticket decide. The trip to Ningde was supposed to only take several hours but as the highway was jam packed full of New Years motorists the bus driver strangely gave us all a choice, the mountains or the highway.
We chose the mountains. What a glorious choice as it was stunning and huge mountains were in abundance.
We left Fuzhou at half past one and finally made it to Ningde around half past five but for me the journey was too short as I was more than in the mood for a longer bus journey due to sharing the beauty of the countryside with Sheryl Crow who is one of my favourite 'travel’ musicians. If it’s a short journey then it’s usually The Cruel Sea’s ‘The Honeymoon is Over’ but if its longer then Sheryl Crow usually sits between me and whoever is occupying the seat next to me.
She has more than what it takes to settle my travel bug into the clutches of relaxation!
When we arrived I sat for a coffee at the chicken shop next to the bus station and as we were in a ‘nothing’ part of town I followed the local buses and walked over to the small city of Ningde and checked out a few hotels and then went about doing the last week’s hand washing. I then went for a short walk and found an Eat Street just up from my hotel and sat for some of the most delicious dumplings I’ve ever eaten.
In fact they were so good I had another helping before I headed back to my room. Thanks for the chat Stephen & a HUGE happy 16th to beautiful Beth.
As it was raining when I woke this morning it wasn’t long before I slipped silently back into the comforts and warmth of sleeps arms and woke several hours later to a rainless afternoon. My first stop was a temple I spotted yesterday but upon arrival I found it closed and mid way through renovations but the pavilion was so beautiful that I just had to grab some photos. After finding some wooden boxes and piling them on top of each other to take photos the ancient gate man spied me trying to take photos and nearly fell over laughing. He and his wife then invited me in for some hot tea before proudly taking me on a tour of the temple grounds.
After six years travelling all around China I can easily count the small amount of times that I have been honored to come across a temple either being born or going through the process of re-birth and this was one of them. Having visited hundred of temples all over China to actually have the privilege of being shown around one prior to all its colourful glory is something that most travellers never have a chance to witness not do they ever actually consider and why would they. You come to China and you want to see temples and you want to see them in colour but it’s not until you’ve seen so many of them that you want to actually see their skeletons as then you can only then appreciate what they will look like when viewed by future eyes.
I then decided to check out the rest of Ningde. And I walked, and walked, and walked and continued walking.
About an hour later I finally realised that my hotel was way back ‘over there’ in the old part of town. Finally colourful lights filled my views and I was then amongst the vibrant shopping streets filled with locals as they went about their daily/nightly lives all with plastic bags full of new purchases for the onslaught of the Chinese New Year.
The one thing I love so much about living in China is the fact that I can arrive in any city and find its vibrant shopping streets lined with street snacks of all kinds and origins and tonight I snacked my way around the neon light streets like a madman.
Ohhh the food I got to eat tonight was simply exquisite!
The other side to this and the un-touristy places I love to travel is that so many locals after seeing me quietly grab a snack and sit beside me wanting to practice their English and find out who I am and where I am from. Tonight was no exception and I spent hours moving from snack stall to snack stall happily chatting to so many wonderful people who are so thankful for me being here in China helping to teach their children to walk confidently into the new English speaking side of China’s future but the one thing we always agree on is that fact that China should never lose its history, culture, minority peoples and language.
Once again I find myself in an off the beat part of China full of happiness and pride that I have the courage to continue to leave a normal life behind and travel to the unknown places that I do
<u>Now For A Bit On Ningde City & It’s History</u>
Situated in the northeast of Fujian Province, Ningde city neighbors Fuzhou in the south and shares boundary with Zhejiang Province to the north and is separated by the East China Sea from Taiwan. Ningde's history dates back to the Stamped Pottery Culture System and between ten to twenty thousand years ago during the late Upper Paleolithic period of the Stone Age humans already occupied the area.
Historical records of Ningde began in the Jin Dynasty (265-420) and during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) it was brought into the territory of present Fuzhou.
Situated roughly three hundred kilometers north of the Tropic of Cancer, the prefecture of Ningde spans nearly fourteen thousand square kilometers and like the rest of Fujian province, Ningde sits in a mountainous region but also happily enjoys almost two hundred kilometers of the East China Sea coastline.
Ningde is highly productive, growing rice, sweet potatoes and other produce.
Its tea and tea oil output tops the list of that from other parts of Fujian Province, and Gutian, known as a "home of tremella," produces the largest quantity of tremella in China. Ningde also produces such famous local and special national products and agricultural by products such as mushroom, shaddock, carambola, litchi, longan, and wine. Its major tourist spots include Tailao Mountain in Fuding, the Liyu Stream and the Jiulongji Waterfalls in Zhouning, Zhiti Mountain and the Yuanyang Stream.
The She Minority People have also created and left many precious cultural heritages in their long history. Owing to projects in recent years to protect the She heritage, three volumes of She folk tales, songs and proverbs have been published. In total, one hundred and eighty four tales, thousands of songs and six thousand proverbs have been included along with art works of She folklore and culture.
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ________________________________________________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was by one of Australia’s funkiest…..SWOOP. The album was ‘Thriller & the Waxo Principle’. _________________________________________________________________