|The local tour bus which took us to Hukou|
|A quick stop to stretch our legs and for the restroom|
|After two days, we exchanged smiles frequently|
|We sat at the corner of the bus for more than 7 hours|
|Our new friends smiling for the camera|
Reading about Hukou Waterfall ( 壶口瀑布) and the pictures on the internet have always triggered my interest. The largest waterfall on Yellow River and the second largest in China, Hukou Waterfall is located at the intersection of the two provinces, Shanxi and Shaanxi with Fenxi City 165 km to the west and Yichuan 50 km to the east.
I asked a girl who looked like a tour guide pacing up and down giving instruction. I spoke to her in English and she spoke to me in Chinese. We showed our receipt written in Chinese and she directed us to another bus. By the time we got on the bus, it was full with Chinese and no foreigners, except for my husband and I! Everyone in the bus looked at us like aliens as we made our way to the two empty seats at the back of the bus. After being soaked in the rain like rats, we were hoping that, we were on the right bus. Surely, this is not a straight forward tour like we had many others before.
As soon as the bus entered the highway, I was confident that we'll not be changing to another bus and hopefully we'll arrive safely to our destination. The girl whom we first talked to was the tour guide and she started talking in Chinese - perhaps explaining about the tour. After she was done with the group, she came to us and looked into our eyes for few seconds and at that point we understood that she does not speak English at all. Now, I fully understand why most foreigners would take China tours through the many advertised English speaking travel agents on the internet.
We were determined not to give up on her...for the next two days we used drawings, sign language and body language. Sometimes it works but most of the time it doesn't. In Yan'an, everybody got down the bus and we followed because we thought they were going to the Museum but they actually went to the toilet (an open space toilet)!
And in another instance, my husband pointed the gun sign just to tell the guide that our hostel is next to the police station. Her eyes bulged and her mouths opened wide, in shock, yet not understanding what we were trying to say. We showed the address of our hostel but she shook her head. Out of frustration, she instructed the driver to drop (throw is a better word) us in the middle of Xian city and ultimately after all taxis refused to take us we end up marching to the police station. Although the police oficer was not able to speak English he was kind enough to call the hostel, stopped a cab and directed the driver to send us to the hostel. Overall, it was a good experience :)
|Interesting sculpture at one of the rest area|
|The tourist :)|