Thursday 12th November - ARRIVE IN GUANGZHOU
What a morning. Rocked up to Guangzhou about 05:20ish - far too early to be churpy and think our tired moods rubbed off on others, as everyone seemed a little rude. The first taxi driver we spoke to asked for 40 yaun, which we got down to 30 yaun, but he wouldn't go any lower. Thinking he was pulling a fast one, we got into another one and asked the guy to use his meter. It turned out to be exactly 30 yaun, oh well, we weren't to know ay.
Came to a hostel that we had read about and the guy behind the desk, was very moody also, I know it's early, but so far that's all we've seen and it really doesn't bow well for the area. I didn't like the sound of mixed dorms, but the price was ridiculous for a double room, so looked like our only choice. Popped to an ATM around the corner and so glad we did because there was a hotel a few doors away, it looked pretty lush, but me being me, thought I'd have a nose anyway. Low and behold, we managed to knock there cheapest room down, can't remember to the exact amount, but it worked out only one pound more than the single dorms in the hostel. Plus when we actually got into the room, it turned out to be one of the best rooms we've stayed in yet. A proper large double bed, with on suite bathroom and neatly furnished - soooooo good.
The actual room we'd paid for was not ready yet, but the let us crash out in another room, while waiting. Very nice of them. Ad went and collected the bags from the hostel and we crashed out straight away, soooo tired. By 11am our room was ready, we moved rooms quickly and I went to pay and got chatting to a lady called Vivien. She'd worked and studied in England, so was very good at English and very helpful, telling me all about the area. Doesn't sound like a huge amount to see but I'm sure we'll head out soon. It's still raining, but was cool because we didn't feel the need to rush out. In fact we hung around in the room for a while relaxing.
When we finally decided to drag ourselves out, we caught a ferry, right outside our hotel, to cross over to a little island the otherside, half of it was colonized by the French and half by the English. Very sweet, with many galleries and quaint little shops. It's a shame it didn't stop spitting and was very grey and dull, but we had a good look around anyway. Found a noodle bar - did the typical thing we do, which is to look around for ages, then just jump in any old place, which is ok but not great. After we found a street full of noodle bars - oh well, at least we had some food. Ad picked up a new brolley, should keep him a bit dryer, rather than sharing mine. Then we picked a random bus, just to see where it would take us.
We said we'd jump off whenever we saw something that looked worth seeing, but nothing looked that great. So went all the way to the last stop which stopped by a fruit market. Had just about any fruit you could possibly think off. Came away with a bag of oranges and one of banana's RANDOM and some daisy tea. It was starting to get late now, so instead of trying to go somewhere else, we simply jumped on the same numbered bus back. Caught the ferry back to our side (for about 5 pence), then went into hostel to use their internet for bit. I wrote to Bella, as we may be meeting her at our next stop.
Thought we'd found a reasonable place to eat, but the dish of chicken we thought we'd ordered, came out at just 4 small pieces of chicken on a plate, was shocked that it didn't come with anything, the most pathetic meal we've had yet. Luckily, we managed to find a really nice family run place, just around the corner and they served up a gorgeous pasty tasting thing each - really cheap. Really nice family. As sad as it sounds, I picked up some black cotton on the way back - got a lot of sewing to do, things are already starting to fall apart. The riverside was all lit up, looked a little like the bund in Shanghai, took plenty of pic's.
With not much to do here at night, we went to the hostel, shared a beer and watched Final Destination 4, not the best but was ok. Ran through the rain on the way back to hotel and finally settled for a good night's sleep.