Happy Birthday, Andrea!


Andrea and I met when we were sophomores in high that's 11 years ago!!! (side note: I still haven't graduated from college!). Our first trip together was to my cabin up Weber Canyon. Our last trip together was our 5-month stay in Wuhan, China (teaching English). We did some fantastic touring and site-seeing while we were there. I've decided to share with you our most epic of experiences: Tubing down the Yangshuo River.
Andrea, Britnie, and I got special permission to travel in a group smaller than 5 for a second visit down to Yangshuo. Since we had already visited this town, we thought we could be more bold in our choice of activities. We saw an advertisement for renting tubes (you know the giant black tubes we use for sledding?) and then taking a float trip down the river...sounds simple, right? Just you wait. Our "guides" (who spoke barely any English) told us to get out of the river when we saw the "3 Sisters" hotel/restaurant on the side of the river bank, and that's where they would pick us up to take us back into town. The duration of our float was supposed to be 1.5 hours.
2 hours into our floating we assumed the current was slower than usual, since we hadn't seen any sign of our "3 Sisters" destination. Just keep going, everything's cool. Half an hour later a dead bird approaches us in the water...what else was in there?! After 3 hours I start freaking out, and saying that we should get out of the river now before we go too far, Andrea starts praying, and Britnie could care less (what an adventure!). We argue back and forth like this for another 3 hours (so now we've been lost for a total of 6 hours!). During all this every time we would see a person (which was rare) on the banks, we try to yell in our horrible Chinese "3 Sisters?!"...they looked at us in total confusion, but would always yell, at least 5 times, "HELLO!".
Finally, we all decide to get out of the river, but it wasn't that easy. The river had become extremely wide, and the current VERY strong. Getting to the banks took some serious muscle, which I've never owned. Andrea and Britnie were the first to the shore. I struggled, and got out a bit further down the bank...the other two worried that I had been swept away for good. But shortly we met up.
Where were we? Who knows. We started walking back in the direction of the city, and managed to trudge through a small farming community. I don't think these people had ever seen white girls, especially drenched ones carrying around large rubber tubes. All activity stopped as we walked through their town.
We found a man in the town who agreed to take us back to the city in the back of his truck for a small fee. We hopped in, and headed back. (This ride back was my first time seeing real fire-flies...truly amazing). On our way, we were swarmed by guys on motorcycles...our guides who had been searching all over for us, and who had called the police. A little embarassing.
Anyway, we made it.


Anonymous said...

What a story!!!Did I know this???? It's pretty scary at first, but then I think it is a great story to have. Thanks to heaven. Happy Birthday, Andrea!! You are a good friend.