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China – Beijing – Speedos and the lake – 24th November

We left the day fairly free and only had a few things to do: catch up on the editing side, burning everything we’d shot so far to DVD, nip to the Wu-Mart to stock up on some much needed snacks for our journey that night and pack. We did break this up with a walk around the lakes that are very close to our apartment. There are three lakes based just around the corner from us, we came in at the top of Houhai lake and walked down to Qianhai lake. It was a very bright day but there was as always a harsh wind and cool air around us. Rickshaw drivers kept pestering us to go around the lakes and hutong on their rickshaw, we don’t really need to have a tour seeings as we are living just around the corner! It is a popular spot for tourists though and bargaining with the rickshaw drivers is all part of the fun it seems.

At two areas on the lakeside we came across a group of men clad only in their speedos, swimming caps and goggles getting themselves all fired and waxed up ready for a sharp plunge into the freezing cold lake. We really couldn’t believe it! Areas on the lake were frozen but it seems to be a regular get together for them and once they were in the lake they would do maybe a minute of swimming and then jump out. Some of the men were shouting to pysche themselves up for it! Comedy moment for us dressed in our thermals, jeans, walking boots, gloves, hats and scarfs!!!

We followed this up with a guilt free Hot chocolate at Starbucks and then made our way back to the apartment to finish off getting ready for our trip to Xian.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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