a sunday morning walk along a “thread” of a stream

Sunday, September 14:  Outside the west gate of Guangxi University is a pedestrian bridge that crosses Luban Road, a major road that runs along the whole west side of the university.  From there I can take any number of perpendicular alleyway/streets on either side of a set of luxury high rises, gated and guarded apartment complexes with lush tropical parks blooming between them.  I walk along one of these streets with an air of commerce about it.

businesses & high rises on the way to the "stream"

businesses & high rises on the way to the “stream”

When I cross another large street, I come to what on a map of Nanning looks like a green river bed, with a thread-like stream running through it.  The map shows that this stream feeds into Nanning’s main waterway, the Yongjiang River.

In real life, this “stream” looks like a major river.  While I’m walking I assume I’m walking beside the Youngjiang River.   When I finish my walk this morning, I look at my trusty MapMyWalk app, which truly does map my walk, and I’m perplexed to see on the map that there is no river showing.  It’s just an area of green.  If you look hard enough, MAYBE you can see a thread of blue running through.  Sure enough, the Yongjiang River is further south, but nowhere near where I walked.

Map of the area of my walk

Map of the area of my walk

I’m so baffled by this, that I spend much of my Sunday looking at maps of Nanning and trying to figure out what the heck is going on.  I obviously need to get my bearings in this huge city, which is in reality one of China’s smaller cities.  It’s quite overwhelming.  My goal over the next 10 months is to unravel the mystery of Nanning.

trees along the stream

trees along the stream

This morning I walk about 3.8 miles, from my apartment to this unnamed stream and southward along its edge, mistakenly under the impression it’s the Yongjiang River.  It has a big blue butterfly shaped bridge over its north end, and a wide road, Daxue Road, cutting across it to the south.  South of Daxue Road, the stream flows past the Nanning Zoo and eventually finds its way to the Yongjiang River.  Daxue Road, by the way, leads also to the main (south) gate of the university.

looking to the north along the "stream"

looking to the north along the “stream”

Surprisingly, I don’t see any debris along this path.  It’s actually surprising that I rarely see any trash on the streets anywhere in Nanning.

the walkway

the walkway heading south

looking north to the blue bridge and the mountains behind

looking north to the blue bridge and the mountains behind

As I’m walking, I see the pretty blue bridge, which as far as I can tell doesn’t have a name.  High rises brush the clouds on either side of the river.

high rises on my side of the stream

high rises on my side of the stream

Along my walk, I find ornamental grasses, yellow and lavender wildflowers, flitting dragonflies, parked electric motorbikes and bicycles, fishermen wearing straw hats or hunched under umbrellas, fellow walkers, bikers, a woman pushing a food cart, a backyard garden laid out neatly under an electrical tower,  a couple and their child listening to music by the riverside, gnarled and feathery trees, and, north of the bridge, an interesting complex with traditional Chinese rooftops.  I can’t tell what this is on the map, possibly some government complex.  Mountains stretch across the horizon to the north.

ornamental grasses along the stream

ornamental grasses along the stream

Fisherman's motorbike

Fisherman’s motorbike

the fisherman

the fisherman

fishermen under umbrellas

fishermen under umbrellas

bicycle and fisherman

bicycle and fisherman

fisherman

hunter-gatherer?

looking north again

looking north again

across the stream

across the stream

across the stream

across the stream

looking northward to the blue bridge and some traditional roofs glowing in sunlight

looking northward to the blue bridge and some traditional roofs glowing in sunlight

pretty skies

pretty skies

backyard garden

backyard gardens under an electrical tower

going to work

going to work

looking north

looking north

pretty little groves

pretty little groves

feathery tree

feathery tree

radiating fern

radiating fern

It takes me quite a long time to take this walk, and I’m drenched by the time I return home.  I really do need to get going much earlier on my walks.

The weather forecast called for thunderstorms this morning.  Though the sky did seem slightly threatening, it never rained.   The weather made for an interesting sky though.  Sometimes in Nanning, we can see blue sky and sunshine, while other times it seems gray and hazy.  I’m not sure if the haze is pollution or humidity, or both.

Slowly but surely,  I’m getting a feel for what’s within walking distance here in my little neck of the woods.

One day last week I did this walk in a northerly direction and I got a close-up picture of the blue bridge.   One day soon I hope to cross over this bridge and see what’s on the other side.  There’s a walkway there too, or so I’m told.

a blue butterfly bridge over the "stream"

a blue butterfly bridge over the “stream”

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Categories: Asia, China, Daxue Road, Guangxi University, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Luban Road, Nanning, Yongjiang River | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “a sunday morning walk along a “thread” of a stream

  1. New adventures! So much fun to explore new surroundings. You’ll have it all figured out in no time, I’m sure.

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    • It is always fun to explore new surroundings, Carol. I’m sure, like with anywhere you live, it will eventually become old hat. But I’ll enjoy it as long as I can! 🙂

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  2. Hi Cathy, Loved going on the walk with you. So interesting to see how much “green space” there is in Nanning, and all those new high rises.
    What’s the temperature? is it normally hot and humid at this time of the year?

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    • Hi Rosie, thanks for coming along on my walk. I’m happy to see so much green space in Nanning. It is in the subtropics so its very humid and it rains a lot. Those new high rises are for the up and coming middle class Chinese, I believe. The temperature is hot (in the 90s) and very high humidity, ranging from +90% in the morning to +60% in the afternoons. I think it will be hot for at least another month and a half. 😦 I’m going to miss my Virginia fall.

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      • I didn’t realize you were in such a tropical part of China. I’m going to go look at a map.

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      • Yes, Rosie, I’m way in the south of China, less than 100 miles from the border of Vietnam. It’s in the subtropics and very warm and humid. 🙂

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      • I know from all the movies of the Vietnam war that its a hot and humid country…
        Does it get any less humid in the winter?

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      • Hey Rosie, I’ve heard it gets cold but still damp, so you can feel the cold through your bones! I hope I can survive the weather for the year. 🙂

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  3. Seems like you’ve found a tranquil place in that big city!

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  4. Fabulous photos, as always. 🙂

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  5. It is so interesting getting to see this place you now call ‘home’. Still looks a bit polluted to me, but maybe it is just the heat. LOVE the butterfly bridge and your last photo of it.

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    • I think it’s interesting too, Jude. It does seem a little polluted, but there is also a lot of humidity and rain, so I’m not sure how much is that and how much is pollution. We do have a lot of blue skies, but it seems not so much in the mornings. I love that butterfly bridge too. I’ve seen there are a lot of great bridges over the Yongjiang River in Nanning. 🙂

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  6. Thanks for the blog, Kat. That seems like a very long walk to me. Are there people living under that electrical pylon ? There’s a much increased chance of getting cancer if we live under those things.

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    • That was a very long walk, Dai, especially in the heat and humidity. Needless to say, I came back soaked through and through! Yes, people are living in that building right beside the electric pylon, and their garden is right underneath. I do wonder, as you say, about their cancer prospects. There are so many people here, I guess they have to live in every available space!

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope you’re well. 🙂

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