Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Bamboo rafting hey. You want to talk about bamboo rafting at Wuyi Shan do you? You don't want to talk about it? You actually want to do it? Have you gone mad? Are you insane? My gawd, what a horrid experience that was! And I bloody well paid 100 Yuan for the experience! Gawd I love China even when it really annoys the hell outta me! So we meet down stairs and then headed to the chicken shop for breakfast. I then had to rely on my internal map. For the life of me I couldn't remember where the bus station was. We caught a bus home last time and I remembered it being a simple counter and not a bus station at all. There were three bus stations marked on the map and we headed to the first one but it simply didn't feel right and for some reason I walked in the opposite direction and there it was, a simple crappy counter with nothing to say it was a bus station but the bus station we needed it was. After a few minutes of this and that we left with all the afternoon bus times back to Shaowu. I even surprised myself that time! After waving down another grave robbing taxi driver we finally agreed on a price and off we sped to Wharf No: 3. The price I agreed on was to take us to the wharf and not to kill us. The cab driver obviously misunderstood me and thought I told him to have a head on collision on the way. He tried his hardest I can tell you, but sadly for him we arrived at the wharf alive. He must have thought he failed us as he didn't even try to ask me for more money like many taxi drivers do. Even after agreeing on a price many of them still give you the 'my baby is starving' look when you arrive. Strangely it is always in the places like Wuyi Shan where most of the cabs don't even have a meter in them. They run the town and no one has any choice but to agree on a price you'd normally pay for a much longer ride. Argh, you can't take it with you. The ancient Egyptian tombs have proven that. After arriving we found out we had about an hour and a half to wait and after chatting to 'someone' we found out that further down at Xingcun Wharf (Wharf No: 1) there was a bunch of rafts leaving in half an hour. We made our way along the river and found the line to then be totally ignored buy the ticket people. It seemed that everyone in line was from a Tour Company and they all had vouchers for huge amounts of tickets. I understood enough to know that several of them were telling the ticket people NOT to sell us tickets. I told a few of them 'something bad about their mother and myself' and we then had to make our way back to Wharf No: 1. When we arrived the ticket lady finally opened the window and one other person and myself lined up. After the only other person in line walked away with their tickets a girl came running up and totally pushed me out of the way and began waving her money in the air. And I'm sure there are many of the people who read my blog that totally don't believe me when I talk about the Chinese and their total lack of respect for anyone and anything once they come within ten meters of a ticket booth or anything that requires a ticket or money to be spent. I'M SERIOUS! THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE IN LINE! NOR WAS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM WANTING A TICKET! AND WE STILL HAD HALF AN HOUR BEFORE THE RAFTING WAS TO BEGIN! Yet there she was pushing me out of the way and acting like her plane was rolling down the freaking runway. I gave her a nudge that any AFL player would have been proud of and then gave her a look that would have made Satan himself cower in a dark corner and finally something in her mind clicked and she withdrew and looked around and then said sorry. After I purchased two tickets I stepped aside and allowed her through in a gentlemanly manner. Believe me I nearly gave her a trip that every AFL player would have been proud of! GGGGRRRRRRRRR! So bamboo rafting hey! All this and we still hadn't set foot near the river! After ling up we were finally put onto a raft and there we sat and sat and sat and sat. Other rafts were being filled and taking off down the river but we just sat there whilst the other four people who filled the seats shuffled and bickered and then finally got up and left the raft. It seems one of them wasn't part of them and didn't want to travel alone. Or at least I think that's what happened anyhow. So whilst rafts were being filled and then unfilled and people ran around like complete idiots trying to stay in packs of ten or twelve when each raft could only seat six we were finally put on a raft with four other people where thankfully were all friends and didn't yell at each other or us! I sat back and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally we were on the river and for the next hour we could relax and enjoy the ride. NOT! It seemed that the two raft guys on each raft were either retired taxi drivers or taxi driver 'want to be's' whom didn't pass the taxi licence test and were pissed off at the entire world around them. They yelled across the river at each other and decided to make not only Wuyi Shans roads dangerous but also its river. We were rammed here and there as we raced other rafts for the next 9.5 kilometre down what is known as the 'Nine Bends' section of the river. All around us was some of the most beautiful scenery, but sadly... All around us the tour groups yelled and screamed at each other from raft to raft. All around us the rafts Pole Guys yelled and screamed at each other from raft to raft. All around us the Pole Guys and the Tour Groups all yelled and screamed at each other from raft to raft! By the time we reached the end of the journey I would have been happy to pay another 100 Yuan just to get off the damn raft. I'm sure Rob would have been just as happy to purchase a plane ticket back to Canada! It was probably the worst raft ride I've ever taken and one of the most annoying hours I've had in China. Mainly because we were stuck there and couldn't just walk off or tell them to go away. Thankfully just across from us was the peace and quiet of the beautiful Bonsai Park and the Zhizhi Nunnery where once again I found a complete lack of Nuns. In fact once again there were None Nuns. But this time I forgot to wonder if a Nunn says Nunneigh to her sisters when she goes to sleep. Anyhow, Wuyi Shan hey! Remember, one persons experience is usually not always the next persons experience but for some reason I do believe that the rafting would pretty much be the same on a daily basis. Remember that last time I had none of these hassles and apart from the rafting and the Greedy Noodle Lady both times once within the park, both times my experience has been totally awesome. Wuyi Shan really is a wonderful place packed with beauty and happy and helpful people. It's just a pity that the minority on many occasions can spoil it for the majority in such places. For anyone interested in Fujian's Wuyi Shan here is a link to my page on Wuyi Shans prices; http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/eddakath/life_i n_china/1181927160/tpod.html Here is a link to my first day adventures and photos from June 2007 http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/eddakath/life_i n_china/1182013680/tpod.html Here is a link to my second day adventures and photos from June 2007 http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/eddakath/life_i n_china/1182100260/tpod.html Beers N Noodles toya.....shane _________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was once again Melbourne's Dave Graney The album was 'Heroic Blues' Awesome!