We got rolling around 7 am on a warm morning after a substantial Chinese breakfast.
Lots of kids going to school walking and biking in their uniforms on the main road. It was before rush hour, so there was not much traffic, and drivers generally gave them lots of room, but where they had to cross the big road there was a lot of honking going on. At the school gate there was no crush of SUVs delivering kids, but rather a whole lot motorbikes and scooters doing the drop-off.
Our first stretch was along a flat agricultural area, where we saw a small turf farm in operation. I had seen turf growing before, but I was wondering where the equipment might be. It turns out that they manually lift off the turf in tile-sized pieces.
Much of the day we were travelling on small country roads, through banana orchards, corn fields, wild forests, planted forests and, of course, rice paddies,
As we came over a bridge entering one town, I was dismayed to see an elderly lady toss a plastic garbage bag containing her garbage into the river, and then turn around and walk home. We see garbage collection operations in the city, but clearly they have not reached the countryside.
Happier sights in another village, when a couple long strings of firecrackers drew our attention to a wedding underway.
Coming out of the back country, we knew we were getting back into the city as the two-wheeler drivers became more pushy again. One of our roads was blocked off, but there was a little bridge that allowed two-wheelers to flow in one direction at a time. Trick was to jump in behind a pushy motorbike, and let him clear the road…