Sep
16

GANZI – DAOFU

By

Today I broke into a police station!

Well, not intentionally – Honestly, I didn’t mean to set the police officer running from across the street. I just needed to use their toilet and Su pulled up in front of the walled police station and I walked in. The toilet, like so many is a concrete box with an open door on each end, one for men, the other, women.

A typical public toilet.

Su hopped out of the van to run interference for me and explained to the officer that I was only in need of the facilities, nothing more. I’m only going to publish a small, non-graphic toilet photo, they are all pretty much the same. One squats over a trench. There! That is enough, the rest you can imagine.

The police officer was still hanging around when I left the squat bunker and was pleasant enough. The town here probably has never seen a westerner before, let alone one so desperate as to cause some alarm!

A view from the Ganzi hotel window. It will be sad to see the last of these spectacular mountains.

This morning we left Ganzi late because Su wanted to do a little shopping for his daughter and wife. He bought his daughter a little outfit and for his wife – I’m assuming she is pretty handy with a sewing machine – a bolt of brown fabric with a lovely pattern. He was very proud of himself!

The drive today was long and dusty with very little to see. There were very few towns along the way, save for the one where we made the above-mentioned pit stop. The drive took us over many sweeping plateaus and grasslands.

A woman watches as a truck drives over her wheat. Vehicles are an essential part of the process of separating the wheat from the chaff. Vehicles break up the chaff and allow the wheat to be separated from the chaff.

After the wheat has been driven over, she slowly pours the remains out of a basket and lets the wind blow the chaff away, allowing the heavier wheat to fall.

What the wheat and chaff look like before it is poured out. Stones and all!

In the middle of the afternoon, we stopped at the side of the road so I could film what was becoming a regular sight, a woman with her wheat spilled out all over the road. When one sees this for the first time, the inclination is to slow and pull off the road and go around. But no! You are part of the process! The wheat is spread over the road so that the vehicles can drive over it and help separate the wheat from the chaff. Ingenious!

I got out and filmed just this process. After the wheat has been subjected to many drive-by’s, it is swept up and poured out of a basket held high so that the lighter chaff can blow away in the wind, leaving the heavier wheat to fall straight down to the ground where it is swept up and bagged. A few stones make it in, but hey, that’s good for the digestion!

A pretty lake and village along today's drive.

And the road goes on and on and on and on and. . .

Daofu is a very small place and well of the westerner tourist route so it is quite normal to be stared at. For instance, when I hopped out of the van to capture the late day sun angling down onto a hillside. The light was spectacular and the beans of light made visible by the smoke and dust in the air. Returning to the an, two women across the street were watching. The looks on their faces were a sort of, “Where the heck did he come from?” sort of look!

"Hey, check out the lau wai! What's he doing here?"

The town was pretty quiet, not too many people around. They did have a town square though, but I crashed early and didn’t hear any dancing music.

The setting sun shines on a hillside just out of town at Daofu.

Categories : SICHUAN

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