Thursday, January 20, 2011

Copied from Sunday, December 12, 2010 Travel Blog

Wednesday, Dec 8th - Attack of the monkeys!

Beautiful Qianlin Park
What an exciting day today, full of adventure and new experiences!  We started our day again with the breakfast buffet.  The staff is beginning to anticipate our needs – even with getting the booster seat for Lyric.  That seat makes eating a meal go a lot smoother!  We do try to catch her when she tries to slide the food into her mouth by bending her head low to the plate.  She only does this when she can’t get the food on her fork.  It is so natural to her that you know she had to do this a lot in the orphanage.  Sad.  She is a quick learner though – very smart girl!
Strange pigeon girl
We met our guide at 10:00, along with our favorite bus driver, and headed out to what we call Monkey Park – it is also called Qianlin Park.  It was beautiful there.  So many people were out exercising – and not our kind of exercise either!  Many were in groups and practicing different forms of tai-chi.  I really did think it was beautiful there.  Some people would do the tai-chi (not sure if that is exactly what it is called) with swords.  Did I mention how beautiful I thought it was?
There were pigeons in the park that you could feed for just a bit of money.  We weren’t going to but then the kids talked Kevin into it – so glad he did.  Lyric wouldn’t get too close to them, but Carissa had them on her arms.  Kevin tried to get them on his shoulder, but I don’t think the birds knew the seed was there.  Laurel and Tyler didn’t get too close, but they loved it.  I told them we could do this in the states, and they wanted to know how soon!
Laurel once again drew some attention and had some ladies come up to her.  One of them touched her hair and her cheeks.  She looked very happy to see Laurel.  I told Laurel just to smile and say, “Ni hao!”  She did, and the ladies got a big kick out of it.
I love this shot of Lyric and our guide
Oh, and they practice tennis here but not the same as us.  We will practice hitting the ball up against a backdrop, but their ball here is attached to a rope which is attached to the ground.  They hit the ball and it comes back to them and they hit it again.  I wanted to play too!
He looked like he really knew how to use that sword!
After the “exercise park” we got back in the van and headed further up the mountain – on the look-out for monkeys.  It wasn’t soon before we spotted some!  A little further up, we got out of the van and started to walk up the hill to the Buddhist temple while keeping an eye out for more monkeys.
It wasn’t far before we came to some steps leading up the side of the mountain.  The kids (and Kevin) wanted to go up so our guide, Lyric and I waited at the bottom.  After awhile, Tyler and Carissa came back down.  Carissa followed a monkey down the road and took some pictures.  At the same time, we saw that Kevin and Laurel, who had both started to come down the steps, suddenly went back up them again.  We soon heard Laurel calling down the mountain.  I thought she was saying to come up.  She was pointing and was really excited.  Tyler went back up to see what was going on. 
Walking around the park
A minute or two later, this huge male monkey comes wandering down the road and starts walking up the steps!  Carissa had just come back from taking her pictures so we decided to go up the steps to see what Laurel was so excited about.  We left Lyric with our guide and followed – guess who? – the monkey right up the steps!  He would go up a few steps and stop.  We would go up a few and wait for him to go up more.  Soon he would, and we repeated the process.  It was fun, but we were nervous also.  He was a big monkey (with a backside that wasn’t very pretty!) :)
Tennis anyone?
Finally, we made it to where Laurel, Kevin and Tyler were.  Laurel was excited b/c she had seen a monkey in a tree and here we come following one up the stairs!  All of a sudden, we see more monkeys a little further away.  There were big male ones, and female ones and baby ones!  And you know what?  They were all coming our way!  We were really excited!  What an amazing experience!  This isn’t anything like the zoo – these animals are wild.  They are used to people, but still – they are wild.  The monkeys kept coming closer and passed right by us.  We saw a few babies holding on to their mamas!  One held onto its mama underneath, on the mama’s belly and another rode on its mama’s back!
Well, here we are happily watching all of this, taking pictures and videotaping when – ahhh!  - the monkeys start fighting and running all over the place!  You should have seen us jump!  It was really scary, the monkeys were really loud and had screamed and growled at each other!  They calmed down after a bit (we were  huddled in a group at this time) and decided it was time for us to visit the nice, calm Buddhist temple – we had enough of the monkeys!  As we were walking down the steps (slowly walking down the steps!) the monkeys  started fighting and running again!  Well, we jumped together again that’s for sure!  They weren’t coming after us, just each other, but they were very close to us and could very easily have attacked us.  When we first arrived we were told not to bring any water into the park b/c if the monkeys saw it they would come up and steel it, and they aren’t always nice about it!
We didn't really try to get close to the monkeys!  They came to us!
Phew, back at the bottom of the steps we get ourselves calmed down and continue heading up the hill.  On the way, we pass a family from America who had one son with them, one adopted daughter with them, and their new daughter who had a cleft lip.  She was beautiful.  I wish I had gotten their name.  I wonder now if they have a blog.
Soon after, we come up to one more American family, and it is a family that I have been emailing back and forth.  We knew that we were both in Guiyang at the same time and our daughters are close in age to one another.  They brought their son, who is just as blond as Laurel, with them.  Their new daughter is younger than Lyric, is very pretty, and she is taller than Lyric.   We are hoping to get together with them before we leave the province.  Oh, and I think they are on the same flight that we are on when we go to Guangzhou on Friday.  It will be nice to be with them in the airport. 
This is the monkey we followed up the steps!
As much as we wanted to stay and talk, we had to get to the top of the mountain so we could see the Buddhist temple.  At the top, the kids and Kevin took turns trying to touch the center of, well, I’m not sure what it was, but they said if you stood so far from the wall, kept your eyes shut, walked to the wall, and touched one certain part of it, that you would have good fortune.  We had fun doing this – I had fun laughing.  I’m not sure what everyone else thought who was watching us!
Going into the temple was interesting.  We learned part way through that there were still some 80 or so monks still living in the temple.  As much as I liked the architecture, I was saddened by the statues/Buddhists that the people would pray to.  There were different ones, like one that controlled the rain and another that controlled the wind.  One had a ton of arms with eyes on each arm, she could see everything with her many eyes.  People would pay for an incense stick, light the stick, kneel, bow and pray to these things.  The kids were really bothered by it, but it was good that their eyes were opened some to these things.  They were really saddened by it, so were Kevin and I.
I think he is yawning! 
Oh, our guide and driver bought some coins for us so we could drop them into a little “pond”.  There were little bowls in the pond and if your coin landed in one, again, you were supposed to have good luck or good fortune, or something like that.  I think each of the kids landed some coins in – mine missed each time!  Our driver had his go in each time – good thing we have him for our driver!
It was so cool to see all of them!
After the coins we headed up to eat a meal.  A monk came up to Lyric and tried to get her to go to him but she didn’t want to (Carissa was holding her at this time).  He held her hand and said some things to her.  She still didn’t want to go.  (That is a good thing; it means she is attaching to us!)  We had our guide ask if we could get a picture of him with Lyric in it and he said yes, so we now have a picture of Kevin and Lyric standing with a monk in Guiyang, China – I think that is pretty neat!
For lunch we had rice, tofu, tea, eggplant, beans and shredded potatoes.  The potatoes were good, same with the rice.  I didn’t try the eggplant, but ate some of the tofu – mostly to be polite.  I’m not a huge fan of it.  We ate up all the potatoes, but I pretty much stopped eating after I found the little, really it wasn’t very big, spider in my rice.  I’m sure I have eaten many other bugs/insects but, well, this one I could see and it made me wonder if there were any others hiding in the food…
And more of them!  They just kept coming!
After lunch, we got back in the van and headed to a museum.  I’m not a huge fan of museums but it was interesting to see some of the different styles of clothing and the displays about the different minority groups.  Tyler had me take a picture of a really old crossbow.  It looked pretty neat!
Sweet monkey!
Laurel was the only one to find something in the gift shop – a musical instrument (which she likes to blow in the hotel room… loudly) It's pretty neat looking.  We should find out the name of it to see if we can find out how it is played online.
After the museum we made an emergency stop for diapers again.  We had bought some the day before, but they were a Chinese brand.  They are more like a pad that you place in a cheap plastic liner.  I tried it on Lyric – once.  Poor Lyric pooped in it and made a big mess.  The plastic taping broke off one side and there was no way I was taking her out in public with a diaper that wouldn’t do very good with leakage! 
Just taking a break!
In the store, I grabbed the diapers, a huge container of water, a small box of Oreos and a Snickers bar (ahh, chocolate comfort food!). 
Back at the hotel, we ate our Ramon noodles for dinner and called it an early night!

Wish I knew what this is all about!  I should have asked our guide.

Kevin will have good fortune the rest of his life!  Wahoo!

So glad our driver had all of his go in!
The monk Lyric and Kevin got their picture with.

Beautiful scene within the temple gates

At the museum - Kevin carried Lyric like this a lot - she is out like a light!

A bit about Guizhou, where Lyric is from.

1 comment:

  1. She looks pretty comfortable in that last shot!