“Finally” we enjoyed one of the traditional tourist events – a bamboo raft ride on the river that (not) always calmly flows around the Wuiy protected area.
We were not deterred by the 2 hour wait. We used that time to visit an unexpected tea house – with an enthusiastic gentleman into pottery collecting = he showed us pottery that could be 1,000 years old from the nearby dragon kilns.
And the nonsensical process of buying and paying for tickets didn’t get to us either. One Tesco cash box would have been enough to make everything run quickly and efficiently… but here they had seven staff and a two-storey building… Super communist (ine)efficiency and overstaffing.
But it was worth it!
There were 6 of us on 1 raft, and definitely wear open shoes so you don’t wring your feet like I did even 10 hours into the ride. Despite the minor snags, it was a great experience (the smaller weirs and rapids can mess with a raft pretty good) that I would put on my “must see in Wuiy” list.
There was also time for a walk in the mountains
We spent the afternoon on a smaller mountain walk to a smaller valley up in Wuiy (Horse Head Rock = [mátou juan] in local), where the oolongs Cinnamon Tree (Rougui = [jouqué]) and Water Fairy (Shui Xian = [shui sien]) are mainly grown. There’s also a small temple up by the rock, but a grumpy monk (he’s also “just” a man) kicked us out at the gate… we still had one tea in the open air by the gardens.
The best at the end of the day
The best experiences are the unexpected ones – we headed out just before dinner for a quick visit to the “tea fairy” and it immediately turned into one of the best tea experiences here in Wuiy. She had a great Lapsang (organic = we take) that her friend makes and all it took was an hour of tea and a quick dinner and we were in their factory… No one had to prompt us and we immediately started dumping about 400 kilos of tea from the truck onto the stagnant screens and tarpaulin… You’ve probably never had such fun 🙂