I woke up really chilled today but I had a HIIT session scheduled into my fitness plan so headed down to the river front to find somewhere to workout. When I got there just after 7am everyone seemed so relaxed! People were meditating, practising Thai chi, stretching etc.
I scrapped my fitness plan and listened to my body. I found a little shaded patch along the pathway, stretched a little and then did some sun salutations (yoga) and a few other low intensity moves. I finished off with a few handstands on a patch of grass nearby and just laid on the ground and stretched a little more. The park was starting to get a bit busier by the time I left (after about 40minutes) but the atmosphere still seemed serene as everyone went about their own business.
After I returned to the hotel, Leah and I headed to Walmart to buy breakfast and some snacks to take on our train journey to Yichang this afternoon. The journey was meant to last between 4 and 6 hours so there was a high probability that we’d miss dinner!
We got to Wuhan station a little early so went to the food court to have lunch. It was so busy! Most seats in all of the restaurants that we checked out were full and the queues to order were many people deep. We settled on a place that sold noodle soup (what Leah was craving) and she went to order her meal whilst I hovered by a table to reserve a seat for us both- the only ones available were on a large table by the window.
Leahs order went relatively smoothly, she pointed to a picture on the menu and paid her bill. My turn was a little different…
I tried to just order side dishes as the mains all had meat in but the waitress thought that I didn’t know that my dishes were just sides. I kept pointing to the vegetable pictures on the menu and she kept pointing to the noodle soups…. A queue started growing behind me and luckily the women behind me understood what was happening and helped out. I got my order of bok choi, pickled cucumbers and rice, and it was surprisingly good!
After preparing ourselves for a 4-6 hour train journey we were pleasantly surprised when our train pulled into Yichang train station 2.5 hours later! Leah had literally just woken up from a nap before the train station was announced!
We’re still waiting for a horrible train journey. So far the trains we’ve been on here have been really nice and spacious! We’re not sure if we keep accidentally booking first class tickets but if they’re only second class (which we think they are) we’re hopeful that the rest of China will be similar…
After getting off of the train at Yichang we had to get two buses to our hostel. The train station was packed full of people running about to get to and from the platforms. The bus station was just outside the train station so we headed outside, past food shops and stalls, past rickshaw and taxi drivers, and past lots of different buses, in search of bus no.1!
We found our bus and showed the driver the stop we needed to get off at (in Chinese, provided by the hostel) and sat at the front ready for him to tell us when to get off. The bus started to get a little busy and it began to rain. We were trying to look at the bus stop names encase the driver forgot to tell us when to disembark and by the time it was our stop the rain had really gotten heavy. The bus door opened to a huge puddle underfoot and a curb just out of stepping reach (I did consider jumping across but remembered that I had a huge rucksack on my bag) before we got to the bus stop (no shelter).
We jumped off (not literally) and got on bus no.2. I showed the driver the directions again and he told us when to get off. The directions provided by the hostel were really good and we were at the hostel within 10 minutes of walking in the rain so were a little damp…
Saturday night out
After settling into our dorm (4 bed female) we waited until the rain eased up and then went on the look out for dinner. We thought that m Yichang would be pretty dead- we only knew that it was close to the three gorges dam (our purpose for visiting) and guessed that it would be a little quiet village… Boy were we wrong! We walked out of our hostel for about 5minutes and reached a bug square full of restaurants and food vendors (selling grilled skewers of food) which were full of customers!
Most restaurants were packed and the atmosphere was buzzing. Large groups of people were spilling out into the streets and only then did we remember that it was Saturday night! We headed into a restaurant that had picture menus, a large group by the entrance cheered as we entered and we were sat at one of the few empty tables.
Id love to say that the food lived up to the atmosphere but it was my worst meal so far since coming to China. Everything came with meat on, even the veg! Leah ordered fish, it came with minced meat on. We ordered mushroom noodles to share, they came with chicken in. I ordered greens, it came covered in minced meat. We had so much food but nothing that I could eat so I ordered some rice and a plate of green peppers- I literally ate a plate load of green peppers! They were tasty but didn’t satisfy. We had so much food left over at the end but neither of us wanted to eat any more of it.
The star pub
On our way home we walked past a bar which was looked really good. It was really busy and the music sounded good so we popped inside to see what it was like. We were only planning on having a quick look around but the staff were on us in a second, showing us to a seat at the bar. A band was playing in the centre of the room and the vibe was really good so we decided to stay for one drink.
We only wanted a drink to share so chose a Chinese sounding beer off of the menu. What came over was as far from a beer as we could imagine… a Bacardi breezed blue! We haven’t drank this drink in years and the smell of it brought up bad memories of childhood antics and horrible hangovers (most likely a sugar low). We took one sip each, felt the sugar stick to our teeth and left the rest of the bottle on the side. We couldn’t even stomach another sip!
When one becomes three…
A man pulled up to the stall at the bar next too us and ordered two beers. Which he drank at the same time! He poured a glass of beer from one bottle, followed by another glass from the other bottle – it was really odd too watch. People here don’t seem to like cold beer, they leave it for a while until it reaches room temperature!
Anyway, the guy had gotten through about half of both of his beers when he left to dance/ wobble by the stairs. Another guy came over and took his seat, asked for another glass from behind the bar and poured himself a glass of the other guys beer! He turned to us and said gambei – which we returned- then said something to the bar staff and left. A few minutes later and two more Bacardi breezers were brought to us! The guy had obviously ordered it for us because he thought we liked it but we couldn’t even stomach more than two mouthfuls from one bottle, let alone drink one and a half each! We tried to swap them for a beer but the language barrier made it difficult…