Yanshuo. I'm back for a second time and its just as good as the first time round. It's lost none of
it's appeal to me... in fact the appeal is even higher than the first time round. The first time I
was here it was a new country, a new adventure, a new language, a new culture but this time all
those things were known factors and it sort of makes me see more of the place than the first time round. Also being here to work for a well known guiding company opens more doors and opportunities than being here last time as a climber tourist.
To give you an idea of my life here and what I have in store for the next year or more I will tell
you some of the things I have gotten up to since I arrived...
I arrived and was promptly moved into the China Climb (my employers) apartments, a 6 storey
converted hotel where most of the staff live. We live here and get cooked for by our chef every day. I was introduced to the staff that are here at the moment and basically hung around for a few days doing not much, just the hum drum stuff like bank accounts and phones, etc. Then I was put to work.
At the moment we arent guiding much as it is the middle of winter and there isnt much on till March but we are building a camp at a place called Fuli so I have had to join in on a few days digging trenches and moving bamboo building materials but aside from that my job is to develop the adventure sports around the camp. So I have to bolt new climbing areas, explore and develop the cave systems there, bolt and set up a rope swing, a tyrolean traverse, a huuuuuge zip line and to top it off build China's first ever Via Ferrata system across the karst towers there... lots of work to do but damn, I love my job! A few of the guys here have dubbed my job title "Minister of Fun" hahaha, but thats pretty much right... setting up adventure activities for a living? Hell yeah it's fun!
Aside from that I have been out kayaking and tubing (despite the cold we have had a few hot days to get in the river) and of course climbing quite a few days.The crew I work with are a really fun and eclectic mix of folk from around the world as well as all the great Chinese staff too. We have a bar called the Lizard Lounge which is basically our lounge room with free beer and a big screen with a Nintendo Wii so we have plenty of nights of crazyness which is always good :)
I have also been working on getting into the stock photo market and have set myself up with several stock photo agencies so I am working away at that with my new toys (new flashes, reflectors, etc) and on top of that am learning to speak Mandarin Chinese which is actually going alot better than I thought it would! I can speak a little already and I'm pretty psyched to actually get the chance to learn another language properly (beyond my basic French, Nepali, Spanish and Hindi).
So thats it's folks. Im here in Yangshuo, things are great, I'm loving life and psyched on spending
the next 12 - 18 months here while I am saving up for our epic Americas tour starting mid next year (check www.landoficetolandoffire.com if your not sure what that is yet...)...