Rice farmer hats, tuk tuk’s, scooters with umbrella’s, weirdly shaped hills. Cars honking, tyres screeching, everyone yelling,. This. Is China.
Today is a mess.
We really hadn’t figured anything out, we only realise now. Luckily it wasn’t necessary. We’re being shipped from one place to another thanks to the god’s grace that is LiLi. LiLi is a girl from Yangshuo with impeccable English who befriended us at the station. She organised us transport to the ATM, transport to Yangshuo, and eventually a bus to Guilin, which we find ourselves in now. We have no idea what’s happening. We’ve no internet, no directions, no phone numbers, no clue where we’re going, no idea of our hostel’s address. We’re lost, and weirdly revelling in it. After the urban chaos that was Hong Kong the peace of this unorganised countryside is wonderful. It’s an utter alien mess for us, to be sure, no road rules as far as we can see, one road that holds tuktuks and bicycles and buses and cars as well as people, but something about it is oddly peaceful. Update to come.
Peaceful?? Ha we’re retarded. I lied. Turns out our transport to Yangshuo was all we needed. We should have stopped there. Guilin was officially 63 KM past where we were supposed to be. By the time we got there it had been seven hours since our breakfast, which consisted of a shared cupcake. We needed to pee. We had no idea what to do and where to go and we had about 15k of luggage slung over our shoulders. Besides, Guilin isn’t the prettiest place in the world.
But hey, what were we to do but take it step by step. Like little Sims we replenished all our needs. Toilet, then food (let’s pretend we didn’t go to McDonalds), then rest, then train station to organise transport back to Guangzhou in a few weeks, water. Our needs fulfilled we move onto the next challenge. How the hell do we get back to Yangshuo. Challenge my arse, finding transport here is the simplest job in the world. You show up, you’re white, here’s a bus and a price that’s three times what we charge the others. Whatever, we’re going back.
The bus ride back is beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, we kind of forgot about our mild mistake altogether. Limestone hills rise up sharply out of the ground, delicately curved at their peaks, covered in jungle-like trees and moss. They litter the landscape in every direction, as far as the eye can see, fading from bright green to pale grey in the background. The surrounding ground varies from river to town to farmland, all seemingly happily avoiding the enormous peaks in their way. We can’t wait to go out there and explore it.
That. Was needed.
We got to the hostel in quite the state. We were still in our clothes from two days ago, when we started this journey. It was hot outside and we’d taken seven different forms of transport throughout the day by the time we got there. We stunk, birds could have happily nested in our hair, and we were slick with sweat. I feel like this is becoming quite a trend for us. Besides, we’d just spent a good fifteen minutes arguing with the taxi driver about the price of our 5 minute ride with him. He told us 5 yuan, demanded 50. Yeah right. Our liberal capitalist selves weren’t having it. I handed him some money, more than 4 times what we were supposed to pay, and we proudly strutted off as he muttered what I presumed were curses under his tongue. I say strutted, I mean limped, we were in pain at this point.
The first blessing was our hostel room, massive with air conditioning, a huge soft double bed, and a little balcony with a rocking chair.
The second was the shower.
The third, dinner. We were so damn hungry after our day that we were willing to take whatever we got. What we got was so much more. ‘The Mood Food Café’ takes all credit for the champion of the day. More about that later, I feel like we’re not quite done with that place. Needless to say both of us are dying with a mild food overdose, and neither of us are complaining.
More adventures on their way!