It’s really hard to stop, to just put down your pack and stay in for one whole day. We managed to find the best chill-out hostel in the world (seriously, ranked 9th worldwide) and take a break in Xi’an. It didn’t hurt that we were forced to stay put for 5 days while our visa extension was processed…
During our time at the hostel we met tons of interesting folks, and have chatted about where we’ve been and where we’re going. Most people have been to the same places in China, or are on their way to the same places, so it’s usually just getting to know you chatter. The best reaction I have ever received was from a crazy group of Chileans who were super impressed that we grabbed an empanada and a terramoto at Piojera in Santiago, Chile. This place was a little rough, but I don’t think it merited this reaction. We are the “#1 freak couple.” I like this title.
At this point we’re in the grove of backpacking. We’ve significantly lightened our packs, downgraded our definition of “dirty” and have been sleeping and eating in questionable locations. I think it’s only going downhill from here and I’m sad to fully realize that mani pedis are a thing of the past.
I got my first chinese foot massage yesterday. As I took of my hiking boots the Chinese masseuse shot me a universal look that said, “Gurrrlll, you’re gonna need more than a foot massage…”
In addition to hanging out at the hostel and getting massages, we managed to hit up one of the coolest archeology findings of the 20th century.
The Terracotta army was found by a farmer who was digging for a well, instead he discovered huge chambers of warriors ready to protect their emperor in the afterlife. Peering into the huge pits at these ancient, slightly surreal, beautifully crafted warriors made me feel a bit like Lara Croft sans cool gun and requisite bad guy. Though the never ending tour groups could easily be considered pure evil.