after twenty minutes of haggling, ryan and i scooped up our scooters and beat feet for the hinterlands of southern china. naturally, ryan's scooter broke down after five minutes, but it was soon ready to roll. after half an hour of slicing through chinese traffic --- lanes are just an idea, not a reality, and anything with wheels, or feet, is welcome on the roads --- i was out in the countryside.
this was easily the highlight of the trip. i neglected to take pictures while i was driving --- far be it for me to try and be safe --- so some of the greatest things i saw i only captured in my mind: small duck farms, tomatoes drying in the sun, markets with unrefrigerated meat, the smell of burning tires, litter and waste. but, also, some of the most beautiful and unearthly scenery i've ever seen.
we road through empty villages, small neighborhoods of newly built brick buildings, either uninhabited or recently abandoned. the acres of trees covered with tarps were haunting.
we stopped over rivers for our best shots. as the sun was setting, we saw fit to return to town and begin our evening.