Jan 12 - Saturday
An early start for a change. We were picked up at 8:00am and bused down river for a 3 hr cruise. The river is very low in winter and it seems this is the most navigable stretch at this time.
We have a nice cruise, lunch on the boat, and share the table with a women from Bunbury WA and her chinese/Canadian partner and an American who is living in northern China. The scenery along this stretch of river is spectacular: steep sided limestone pillars rising out of a flat plain. These are the vertiginous cliffs so often seen in Chinese paintings.
We return to the hotel and John has a sleep while I take the boys for a long walk through the riverside park and along the main street. We stop for cakes, popcorn and fries at MacDonalds, lollypops then icecream.
It is really chilly and we buy a furry hat for Jack and Chinese style earmuffs for Tom and I. These are a piece of wire with polar-fleece covering that sit over your ears and go around the back of the head/neck a bit like some headphones and are quite effective.
Back to the hotel, and we wake John, who was still asleep. A couple of hours later we head down for dinner. By now it has dropped to nearly feezing and the kids are cranky so once again it is hotel food.