Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Weekend Outing: ShaPoTou and Tong Xin

Our officials graciously planned another outing for us this Saturday.

We first went to a tourist site called "ShaPoTou" near the city of Zhongwei.  This is a place where tourists come to float down a branch of the Yellow River and play desert in the sand.  Like most Chinese tourist attractions, it was crowded, overpriced, and not very natural or authentic.  But we still had fun riding on camels (not me) and sliding down a sand dune (me!).  We were at a lower elevation than here and the sun was very strong.  It wasn't hard to imagine we were really trudging through the desert on the Silk Road hundreds of years ago.

After ShaPoTou, we stopped in the town of Tong Xin to see the Grand Mosque, a nice old building with a good view of the town.

Then we came home.  It was a long day, but still enjoyable to see more of Ningxia.  And the drives were just as beautiful as last week.

Drive-by scenery at 7:30 a.m.

Drive-by scenery, through the bus window

Drive-by scenery

At ShaPoTou.  River on the left and sand beyond.

Horses and camels

Sand sliding

I saw this guy lose a bunch of papers as he slid down.  I'm watching from the chairlift.

Beautiful view at the top

Looking down and ready to slide!  After buying a ticket and waiting in line, of course.

Tourists on a sheep-skin raft

Teammate Cara posing by an excellent display of "Chinese air-conditioning"

More country scenes -- corn and sunflowers

The Grand Mosque at Tong Xin


View from the mosque


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