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November 14th 2009
Published: November 14th 2009
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The Bike ShopThe Bike ShopThe Bike Shop

It doesn't look like much from the outside, but there were a lot of new and used bikes here. We brought Ryan, a Chinese ESL teacher, with us. Ryan had just gone through this process of helping another teacher buy a bike the week before, so he got us a good deal by bringing more customers!
We joined the biker crowd in October. Who would have thought that this would have been our mode of transportation in China! Many of the locals and quite a few of the teaching staff have bikes, which really opens up your world. We have seen so much already that we never would have been able to on foot or by train. It is quite the sight for see us on the road - white haired Rick driving along with Gail gazing around taking pictures on the back. Too funny!

The latest trip to the market was the best - it was freezing cold this morning and very windy. We have only peanut butter and a couple of onions in the fridge. So we have to go the market and have decided that being really cold for a short time on the bike is better than being really cold for a long time walking. Rick has his helmet on to keep the wind from his face. Gail is on the back - ski jact, neck warmer, hood up, scarf around it all, big mitts on. Groceries bulging out of the back pack, gingerly holding a huge red shopping bag in one
NegotiationsNegotiationsNegotiations

There were a lot of bikes to choose from. We ended up with one that was not too big and had no clutch so that I can drive it too (maybe in the spring!).
hand so as to keep the dozen eggs in a plastic bag safely balanced and unbroken. Second bag is bulging with the rest of the groceries on Rick's lap. Oh did we want a car with a trunk to load up! I guess we could take a taxi next time, but what's the fun in that??

Life here is speeding along- the days and weeks seem to fly by. Could be that darn age thing as well. We are looking forward to seeing Harbin at New Years for a 3 day weekend. The Ice Festival is not on until the middle of the month, but everything will be set up so it should be spectacular (but cold).

Work is going well for both of us and we are getting settled into our apartment. We bought curtains for our glass kitchen today. That was a major decorating feat for us. It is kind of bare in here, but you realize how little you need. A potato masher would be nice though. Rick tried to do mashed potatoes a while ago. The bottom of a glass didn't quite get the lumps out! Most of the things you really would like
Who is this Cool Guy?Who is this Cool Guy?Who is this Cool Guy?

A winter helmet was part of the deal. Although no one wears a helmet, it has been handy for keeping the wind off Rick's face on the cold, windy days. Looks good!
are available somewhere, you just have to keep looking. We saw chocolate brownie mix today - but don't have pans to cook it in. Hmmm that will be another excursion.

that's all for now!




Additional photos below
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Driving lessonsDriving lessons
Driving lessons

Learning the details of the bike.
On-lookersOn-lookers
On-lookers

Everyone gets into the action. This fellow was pretty interested in what was going on.
First tripFirst trip
First trip

We were told not to take more than one person on the bike until it had 1500 km. Yeah right- that would take us two years! So this was our first trip along the coast. There are spectacular rock formations - this area is famous for them. Rick along the way.
DinosaurDinosaur
Dinosaur

This rock is called 'Dinosaur Drinking from the Sea'. It really does look like one if you see it right.
View pointView point
View point

A nice chinese couple took our pictures from the rock viewpoint. The rocks in this area are very special formations, but I can't remember why! They are pretty cool looking though. There are miles of beaches too.
HikingHiking
Hiking

We found a great hiking trail on the second trip.
Lots of stairsLots of stairs
Lots of stairs

365 stairs later we realized that we were just at the beginning of the trail network. Now that it has turned cold, that will have to be a spring project to follow up on. Look at the size of those steps!
Fall ColoursFall Colours
Fall Colours

Beautiful fall colours - there are a lot of reds that we never see at home.
Jinshitan BeachJinshitan Beach
Jinshitan Beach

This is a view of the beach from the top of the hiking trail. We didn't realize how long the beach was, it goes on for miles- this is only one small section. You can see the large salt water pool. We are looking forward to trying it our next summer. We came at the close of the season this year, so never saw it in full swing.
Nice poleNice pole
Nice pole

Who came first - the pole or the road??
Home from the marketHome from the market
Home from the market

It is not uncommon to see donkey or cow pulled carts travelling to and from the markets. When you get out of our area you realize how poor the local people are - a real basic subsistance life. See what I mean about taking pictures from the back of the bike?


16th November 2009

Along for the ride...
Just finished going along for the ride on your most recent adventures... would like to see a classic easy rider pic of you and Gail on the motorcycle..they didn't have any Harley's I gather...

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