Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Swimming with Bikes

Ah, the city of Yangshuo! The short bus ride from Guilin to Yangshuo was speedy, though it was a bit scary with all the beeping of the bus driver. By the way, it appears the Chinese way of driving is by the help of their horns. They use it. A LOT. they can be alone with not a single vehicle near them, and they'll beep the yellow out of your ears.

Anyway, Yangshuo! yes. We came off the bus with the heat and humidity slamming right in our faces. After fending off all the peddlers and hostel workers who really wanted you to "hello" something to them, we labored on finding our hostel. After enough sweat, we found the place, which gratefully had air conditioning. We took a shower and settled in, and after a few minutes we were on our way to tour the famously touristic city. We both concluded, after walking around the "west street" that was dedicated for the foreigners, that this city gets an "Eh" score.

West street. *YAWN*

There were a lot of nice places which we could have sat in and eat or drink, but they were too damn expensive. Why would any backpacker pay 30 yuan for a cup of coffee, unless you get a massage and a happy ending with it? and even the massages were expensive.

All in all, we turned back to our routine of finding a cheap Chinese place with at least 2 English words vocabulary and dumplings, and we made it our usual restaurant.

The next morning, after a 12 hour siesta (we were tired, and the air-con was awesome), we rented two bikes in order to tour around the scenic area that surrounds Yangshuo. It didn't take us long to be covered in sweat. It was hot like hell, but we shook it off anyway.

Me and my Compass. It didn't help.

The map of Yangshuo is a bit hard to decode, but we were soon offered assistance by a lady on a motorbike, who took us all the way to the wrong place, just so that we could be harassed by her friends and family and buy their weird goods or travel by their funky bamboo boats. We continued on our own, which soon turned into getting lost on our own, but it was nice, and the scenery was lovely, and the heat was unbearable, and from time to time there were Israelis riding their bikes, and Raquel was laughing every time there were Israelis because I complain all the time that we Israelis are everywhere.

But never mind that.

Can you guess where Raquel is?

We continued riding through the huge lime stones, and soon we found our way into a certain "Moon hill" park, which costs about 15 yuan per person. We got off our bikes, locked them well and safe, and started climbing up the stairs, with 2 old "hello" women following us, just waiting for us to be thirsty. After blowing them off, we paid attention to the task of climbing all those stairs. more than 1000 to be precise, give or take a few hundred... I couldn't count since I was too busy breathing hard. And it even began to rain, so the humidity went up to 150%.

But still, on the verge of a heart attack, we made it through the top. And it was damn worth it. the view of the entire valley was stunning, with all the lime stones jutting out of nowhere up into the sky, all visioned under a semi circular stone hole on a top of a mountain. simply gorgeous.

We rested there for a while, till a group of noisy Chinese came and disturbed our peaceful siesta.

With wobbly legs coming off the mountain, we drove back to Yangshuo after 8 hours or so doing the bike tour. Our asses were so sore I'm still finding it uncomfortable to sit.

But anyway, we concluded the evening in a relatively expensive meal and a movie at the cozy hostel.

1 comment:

ezaton said...

Now, imaging going this nice steps path up and down and up and down, carrying water buckets. Doing that enough makes you a great martial artist, or so they say.
Oh, and breaking some wood, but that's later. After 100 climbs up and down the stairs. If you get to break a small leaf, you are a master.
Or so they say :-)