Tuesday 29 Aug
Is our hard ass London protective attitude melting in this heat?
We finally managed to leave Beijing after 7 days - as much as we loved it, it was a mare to leave as the trains were all packed to the hilt and we could not bare to go local (hard seats, sitting only) for 33 hours. We eventually managed to get hard sleeper tickets to Guilin and then a bus onto Yangshuo which is where we are now. Our friend Liz came here 8 years ago when it was a sleepy hollow backpacker joint and it is still a great place to hang out now. We have tried lotus seeds, durians, rambutans, bamboo fungus, taro amongst other weird and wonderful plants. We are worried that this town will soon be over touristed as there are loads of locals wanting a bit of the dollar action and we can see expansion on the cards.
We have spent much of the time on bicycles exploring the country side and paddy fields which are absolutely stunning and nothing like we have ever seen before. Sorry to keep teasing you about the photos but you will see what I mean when we upload them. We took a boat trip (think small and basic - there were only 4 of us plus driver) up the Li river to see views that are literally on the back of a fag packet ;-) (the logo on the pack of local Chinese ciggies). Awe inspiring.
We took a walk up Moon Hill (1251 steps up to another amazing view) and although we were sweating like fools in 85% humidity, half way up the heavens opened and torrential rain poured down on us. I can't tell you how many times we have schleped those expensive Gortex jackets around with us and never used them - but not on that day! I landed up buying a poncho off this little old lady who was just sitting on a rock. I didn't realise it was actually HER poncho and it was a bit worn and holey - we didn't have the heart to buy her umbrella and we gave her back her poncho on the way down treating the purchase as a rental instead. At the top there was another sweet little old lady who managed to convince us to buy her postcards after giving us the cutest warnings of 'danejuice rocks' and 'mossi-kitos'. Didn't even have the heart to bargain. Is it possible that our hard ass London protective attitude is melting in this heat?
We have booked a flight to Chongqing tomorrow morning as buses and trains are a little tricky from here (read we couldn't be bothered with the hassle ). Our budget is being ignored as being 'tricky' too!