Wahooo! I started a photo blog! I’ve tried a few times before, but I never was happy with the format. I’ve finally decided not to be nit-picky about the looks and functionality and just go ahead with the format we already use for our travel blog, imissmyvacuum. Eventually this will be part of my photography website, but right now it’s just linked.
My husband and I have been back settled in Hangzhou for a few weeks now, no travel! I’m starting to feel the itch to go explore again, but it’s also been nice to spend some laid back time in Hangzhou, creating a routine, meeting up with friends, exploring the city, and most importantly getting work done. For Mike, that includes his thesis work. For me, it’s working on my photography business. I never though I could spend so much time on something, and still enjoy it.
By the way, this so-called “routine” that Mike and I have been on includes going to bed reaaaallllyy late (like 3am!) and also getting up reaaaalllllyy late (like 10:30am!). I feel like a college student again. Wait, no, in college I could both go to bed late and get up early, but my life included lots of naps. Being a bit older now, my body wouldn’t be able to function like that. Anyways, these late-nights have been very productive. I actually feel the most productive between 8pm and whenever I decide to go to bed. No distractions like there are during the day.
Anyways – what should I put here on my first blog? I think I will share a few edits I’ve been working on lately. Just before returning to Hangzhou I was in Yuanyang, Yunnan, photographing the rice terraces. Yuanyang was an amazing place to visit. Because of the weather, the scenery changed by the hour, the only way I can describe it is being magical. I couldn’t believe how the landscape changed so quickly, with the clear air, clouds, extreme fog, and colorful sunrises and sunsets. I hope my pictures do this place justice, but I don’t think they do.
The first night we weren’t share where would be best to view sunset, so we just wandered around Pugaolao Village (普高老寨), where we were staying. We found a large viewing platform within a few minute walk of our guesthouse, just in time to watch the colors change on terraces filled with water.
The next day we woke up for sunrise, but it was a bust. We went up to the more well-known viewing platform (Duoyishu), and stood around for hours with over 100 of our new Chinese friends waiting for the fog to clear and the sun to shine. Instead we chatted with each other and our tripod-neighbors, Mike speaking to them in Chinese, and the nice ladies sharing the snacks they brought with them from their hometown. This is what that morning looked like. Oh yeah – it was also misting.
By the time we arrived back at our guesthouse, the misty part of the fog had lifted and the sun appeared to be trying to peak through, so I wandered around the village and the nearby rice terraces to capture the changing light.
A few minutes later fog quickly pushed in and it looked like this, for about 20 minutes, and then it was gone.
After lunch, Mike and I joined our guesthouse owner and another guest on a guided “short hike” to a hidden spot. This uh, “short” hike ended up being over 10 miles! My new fit bit told me that that we walked over 16 miles. It was worth it.
Our destination was a little-known viewing spot, but we had to pass through a small village to reach it. Immediately, we were bombarded with many incredibly cute kids, who ended up spending a few hours with us.
The fog never left this hidden spot for us to see the terraces, so we wandered back through the village. Two of the kids were siblings, and ran back to ask their parents if they could show us their home. Their parents were very welcoming, and even invited us to have dinner with us. Their home wasn’t like the hundreds of guesthouses and new homes we saw being built in masses all throughout Yuanyang, but rather the traditional, dirt floor, soot filled (from their only source of heat – fire), one room house. I felt very honored to be welcomed by this family. Unfortunately the sun was setting and we had a long walk back, so we declined their offer.
That day was amazing, in so many ways.
That’s enough writing for one blog, so I will just share a few more pictures from our stay. Out of 8 sunrise/sunsets, the weather was only good for photography for 3. If you have to plan to visit Yuanyang for photography, plan to stay there at least 4 nights.
If you want to see more pictures from Yuanyang, click here
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