Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Aug 16

This is what most Chinese outlets look like. The top outlet fits US plugs, and since my phone regulates its own voltage, I can use my regular charger. 
We went up a road, looking for the remains of a "castle", which didn't really exist as more than rubble and a memory, but instead found this. 
This ingenious process takes old quilts and turns them into new ones. First, the old quilt batting is pulled or cut into pieces 2.5' or so in width and fed into the green machine. That machine shreds the old batting, fluffs it and pushes it out again in even 2.5' strips. Then the woman began to roll it around a wooden rod, which she then set down. The rod would be pushed up against two uprights, where it would halt and then the batting being pushed out would spin the rod around and roll itself. This would free the woman to take a previous roll and roll it out onto a table, where they had previously stretched out a pre-sewn, inside out cover w/zipper and some really thin, spider-webby interfacing/new polyester stretchy batting. 
She kept adding the batting, switching orientations, then they added another layer of the spider web batting, wrapped it up like a present, rolled it up and INVERTED IT, by pulling one edge of the cover over the other. There was a zipper in that free edge of the cover and once inverted, they zipped it closed. 
Next, they clipped the edges to a frame, to stretch it and then stuck the whole frame into a machine embedded in the back of their truck. 
The machine was controlled by a computer, which quilted the whole thing. 
This was the parking lot at the bottom of a section of the Great Wall which has be developed for tourism. It cost 45¥, about $6 US to go through the gate, but Marian was not interested, and they would not let me ride my bike up the road beyond the gate, so I did not go. In hindsight, I should have gone, because our second attempt at a different section was not successful. 
The road to the second section we would be able to access took us past this enclave of yurts. They were a tourist attraction, and on the way back down, we checked them out. They were made of either concrete or plastic sheeting and the establishment wanted 150-200 ¥ for a night in them. That is about $30 US, about 2 or 3x as much as we have been paying for lodging. Ok. I'm not actually that cheap, but they weren't very authentic and it didn't seem appealing. 

The fruit on this tree has been bagged. Marian says the farmer picks out some of the fruit on the tree that seems like it would be particularly perfect and bags those. The bags keep the fruit from any damage. As all the fruit develops, the unbagged is picked early and sold as sour fruit or for other purposes and the tree puts all remaining energy into the bagged fruit. 
The Geat Wall and towers are visible on the ridge. 

Crumbling wall. 
Offerings for the Ghost festival. 
Signs to the Great Wall diverted us into this village. It was a cute village, but not associated with the wall in any way. 
Maybe a ???? flower?
Tree lined roads. We were rejected from many motels, because they still say "no foreigners allowed". Marian says most just don't have a clue how to register foreigners (and some are just too lazy to bother), but if they let her, she takes over their computer and shows them how. That law was repealed in 2003 or so. 
These boat restaurants or motels tied at a park were pretty derelict. Maybe someone is thinking of fixing them up? 
We ended up out evening watching people dance around with fancy fans and cloth steamers and were told it was group "exercise". 

No comments: