And now for Part 2 of my adventures this past weekend! We awoke early to catch our boat tour to Turtle Island, which was a cold and windy journey as the weather was quite nasty the whole weekend. When we got to the island, we were supposed to stay with our group, but as the tour was in Chinese, and we don’t like large masses of people…we wandered off. This led us to take the small trail around, stopping and eating the lunch of baked goods we had packed, and then heading back to the dock after our hour was up on the island. Unfortunately, being the seasoned travelers that we all are, we threw caution to the wind, and none of us checked which boat it was that we had arrived on. This lead to us following every group that walked by us on their way to the boats, and being told each time that this wasn’t our group and to wait. We headed back to the pagoda (later named the Pagoda of Shame by us) each time until finally group 4 turned out to be ours. Oh, shameful moments!
When we got back to shore, we received a text from our friend saying he had just arrived in town, so we went to grab him. The five us decided that a hot spring would be the best way to spend our afternoon. One short train ride to Jiaoxi and we were in a land of hot spring options. Right when you walk out of the station, there is a footbath for your enjoyment. We attempted to go to the public hot springs, but they had reached max capacity. Instead, we soaked our feet in a nearby public footbath and then decided we should just go to a nearby hotel and pay for an hour of using their private springs. This ended up being enjoyable, as they had jets in their pool, fountains, and various other extras. There were four pools in this one, a tiny cold one that could fit two people at a time, a bath temperature one with a small water playground, the hot one which had all the jets and extras, and a boiling hot one that I didn’t even go near.
After soaking our cares away we had a smaller scale feast at a nearby restaurant. This time we had a gingery soup with chicken, lemon-chili-cilantro chicken, some breaded beef with a peanut sauce, pork rolls, and pigs blood with intestines. We were exhausted at this point, so it was another night of cards and drinks in the hostel when we got back to town.
So much more to come….Day 3 of Tomb Sweeping Festival, payday, the arrival of my ARC card, and this weekend's activities (including the new additions to my apartments décor!) I know…I’m running behind on writing!