Alone again…I bid farewell to Rita and James this morning after breakfast as they are heading back to Canada by way of their Chinese ‘home’ and Shanghai. I’ll miss their company: Riding the bicycle alone through the YangShuo scenery might be faster, but also more quiet. Yesterday, we had spent a relaxing day ‘hanging out’ at YangShuo, not doing anything. Rita was still a bit handicapped, and so we stayed for 3 hours at the breakfast cafe, separated for a few hours (they shopping, me organizing a parcel back to German and a fax to the US), and staying from 5pm til midnight in another cafe, emptying various coffees and no less than 13 bottles of beer (for James and me) on the occasion. Life can be so simple and wonderful…
Well, now let me get through my last days in China by myself as I did through the first days. The schedule is confirmed now (though despite pre-announcement the Vietnam-Visa-on-arrival-approval-letter has not yet arrived) as follows:
Tomorrow (Friday), I fly back to KunMing and will spend the entire Saturday there, which should finally provide me with the chance to see the Stone Forest.
On Sunday, I fly out to Hanoi (Vietnam). Guest house is booked already. And while I was writing the mail to ask for airport pickup a “Welcome” mail from the guest house (Manh Dung) already arrived. Wow…THAT is quick service! I already got confirmation mail that a driver will be sent. If they are that quick on everything then it’s a great pick.
Now let’s just hope that I get my visa approval letter by tomorrow and find a place to print it.
This time I got a mountain bike, which costs three times as much as a single-speed bike: 30 RMB for a day. Still dead cheap. Though the gears didn’t switch easily.
YS_20070726_130850.jpg: I had headed out to the YuLong River once more, where we had done the bamboo rafting. First missed a trail and got trailed off in the wrong direction. But the scenery is as usual: Water Buffalos, rice fields, and karst hills.
YS_20070726_130913.jpg: And harvesting was in full swing.
YS_20070726_134630.jpg: A little later, after ending in a dead end, I returned, found the right trail, and drove along the YuLong River in about the right direction. No basketball during harvesting 😉 the field is neeed to dry the rice grains.
YS_20070726_134034.jpg: Update on bamboo rafting logistics: This is one of the many rafting bases we passed by on our tour two days ago. This particular one actual fairly close to the end of the rafting. Don’t understand why people would do this short trip at all. But they get carried there by tour coaches. And the coaches blew a lot of dust into the air, on my legs, and into my eyes.
YS_20070726_134552.jpg: As did the trucks, which returned the bamboo rafts to their base. This one is actually poorly loaded. Not because there are people sitting atop the load, they always do. But because there are just two rafts. A full load is probably 10 rafts. Plus the people. Looks scary…
YS_20070726_135908.jpg: And that’s the end point of bamboo rafting: The rafts are dragged out of the water onto the aforementioned truck.
Moon Hill (月亮山)
I did not exactly get out where I wanted to get out. But as I was on the main street out to Moon Hill I now took the chance and just followed it for a few minutes to arrive at “Moon Hill Scenic Area”, which consists of a gate to pay 15 Yuan for, plus 1 Yuan if they shall watch your bike, a lot of uphill stairs (reminded me a tiny bit of EMeiShan), and some hawker ladies selling cold drinks.
YS_20070726_143114.jpg: I did my uphill walk quite quickly, shaking off one of the hawkers following me, promising to buy a cola on return if she would watch my bike. From the near-top, within the hole in the rock, which forms the moon shape after which the hill is names, you already get quite good views.
YS_20070726_143416.jpg: If you look closely you’ll find a rope dangling from the top: There were obvious some climbers around.
YS_20070726_143537.jpg: And that’s the Moon Hill’s hole from the back: Still a hole 😉
YS_20070726_144252.jpg: A small steep beaten path leads up on one side of the frame of the hole to the very top of Moon Hill. And who crosses my way there, shortly under the top? Sven, the Belgian, who was here last mentioned on the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek. (We had, however, seen him one or days ago in YangShuo proper, but lost him out of sight after some smalltalk.)
YS_20070726_144810.jpg: The view from the very top is breath-taking: Karst hills wherever you look.
YS_20070726_145013.jpg: A couple on the summit was so nice to take a picture of me there. In exchange for some cycling information 😉
YS_20070726_152948.jpg: On the way down I catched up with Sven, talking a bit with him; didn’t find any of the ladies I had buy-drinks agreements with, which also meant that my bike was not watched, but still there. I cycled out across the street to a small village, whose entire tourism is passing-through busses to show this view to their guests. Here you clearly see the actual hole and the top of the hill, allowing you to sort in the previous pictures to their right places.
YS_20070726_155105.jpg: I had the idea to cross through the fields to the other big road, which would return me to YangShuo. And so I headed into the about right direction, with the every-same scenery.
YS_20070726_155622.jpg: Here’s a valley, which looks a bit more green than the others, which is why I thought a picture might be worthwhile.
YS_20070726_161146.jpg: Already on the way back: Yet anoter place to dry rice grains in the sun.
I had to turn back because my chosen path led into a dead end: The Water Cave. I had a chat with two ladies there, briefly considering just using the chance and getting in (which can involve a bit of swimming and mud-bathing and must be quite fun), but eventually deciding against it. I still had the hope to do a bit of cycling. In the end a bad decision: I couldn’t find the proper path and returned into the city by normal road. Still a bit tired and definitely dirty, ready for a shower.
YS_20070726_194505.jpg: While dining one of the many many street hawkers made this paper cut and offered it to me. As he wanted to have just 5 RMB and was very friendly I gave them to him. I suppose it shall show me. But my attempts to convince him that I think it looks a bit too big to be me weren’t successful. Reminds me more of an old friend back in Menden: Michael Vieth. Isn’t it, father?
Today’s Lesson: I look like Michael V.
Originally Created: 07/26/2007 03:33:14 PM
Last Edited: 07/26/2007