a rainy day bicycle ride in yangshuo

Tuesday, January 27:  Though the bus ride from Guilin to Yangshuo is only supposed to be 1 1/2 hours, today it seems like it is longer.  It also seems to go through much uglier scenery than I remember from my October trip.  Maybe it’s the dreary weather, but there is also much ugliness in the human habitats and commercial establishments along the way.  Most of the buildings are of shabby concrete construction, of no architectural character at all, and junk seems to be scattered about willy-nilly.  It’s too bad the amazing natural landscape is so ruined by people.

We arrive and check in to the Yangshuo River View Hotel, the same hotel in which I stayed in October.  It seems shabbier now at off-season, and Mike is pretty disappointed after some of the nice hotels we’ve had.  Oh well, we get settled in and immediately go out for lunch.

On the street outside of our hotel, we run into an older lady who introduces herself as Esther.  She offers to take us on a bicycle ride through the countryside for a good price and she pulls out a book in which many foreigners have written glowing things about her in English.  She’s apparently wonderful, the most kind person in the world, energetic and hard-working.  We tell her we are interested in a bicycle ride this afternoon, as the rain seems to be holding off.  But we want to eat some lunch first, so if she’ll wait, we’ll go with her.

I would take the lead myself, but I’ve only been on one bicycle ride here in Yangshuo and I’m afraid we might get lost.  It’s late in the day to get lost, so I figure it will be nice to have someone along who knows the territory.

We stop at a pizza place and share a medium pizza because we only want a small snack.  It’s another cold and cloudy day in a what is becoming a long line of dreary days on our holiday.

Me at lunch in Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

Me at lunch in Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

Even the cute town of Yangshuo looks a little empty and desolate.

Street in Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

Street in Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

We look for Esther after lunch but she seems to have vanished.  I go to the room to put on some warmer clothes, and Mike goes off in search of her.  He finds her (I’m not sure where), comes to collect me from the hotel, and we meet her at a bicycle rental place.  After finding some bikes that fit, we’re off.

We ride quite a long way until we’re able to make a stop at this lovely spot.  I am always in awe of Yangshuo’s karst landscape, with its mystical oddly shaped mountains jutting up from flat farmland.  Granted, it’s a dark and hazy day, so it’s not as beautiful as it could be.  But it still reminds me of ancient Chinese paintings and suggests romantic and poetic ancient times.

Farmland and karsts outside of Yangshuo

Farmland and karsts outside of Yangshuo

Esther is lively, cheery and energetic and luckily we all ride about the same pace.

Our guide Edith

Our guide Esther

When we stop for photos, Esther makes a phone call so we mill about taking a lot of shots while she’s talking.

Me and our bicycles (Photo by Mike)

Me and our bicycles (Photo by Mike)

Farmland and karsts

Farmland and karsts

the road ahead

the road ahead

landscape around Yangshuo

landscape around Yangshuo

Farmland and karst landscape

Farmland and karst landscape

stopping along the way

stopping along the way

fields and pointed mountains

fields and pointed mountains

Me at a stop along our bike ride (Photo by Mike)

Me at a stop along our bike ride (Photo by Mike)

the road into the village (Photo by Mike)

the road into the village (Photo by Mike)

We continue on our ride through farmland and old villages.  We pass some of the countryside hotels I’ve heard of, most notably the Giggling Tree, a place I want to try one day.

reaching to the horizon

reaching to the horizon

On our bicycle ride (Photo by Mike)

On our bicycle ride (Photo by Mike)

the beautiful karst landscape of Yangshuo

the beautiful karst landscape of Yangshuo

trees, grasses and karsts

trees, grasses and karsts

leaning towers

leaning towers

It seems to be getting colder and darker as we ride.

Karst landscape seen on our bikeride (Photo by Mike)

Karst landscape seen on our bike ride (Photo by Mike)

along our bike ride (Photo by Mike)

along our bike ride (Photo by Mike)

a waterway in Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

a waterway in Yangshuo (Photo by Mike)

Karsts and reflections

Karsts and reflections

After going back to one of the main roads, Esther wants us to stop at her friend’s restaurant so we can eat something.  We’re not hungry because we just ate lunch several hours earlier, and we plan to eat at Rock-n-Grill tonight.  Her friend’s restaurant is in the shadow of Moon Hill, so we can see a glimpse of it from below without climbing up to it.

Moon Hill

Moon Hill

On the way back down the main road, I am looking for the Passion Fruit Leisure Farm where Audrey and I had a lovely lunch on our bike ride in October: a bicycle ride through the yangshuo countryside

At this time of year, which is off-season, there is no lunch being served.  However, the proprietor is serving up some passion fruit juice.  We each order one and take our time enjoying it, much to Esther’s chagrin.  I think she’s impatient to be on her way.

Passion Fruit Leisure Farm (Photo by Mike)

Passion Fruit Leisure Farm (Photo by Mike)

Me sipping on a passion fruit drink (Photo by Mike)

Me sipping on a passion fruit drink (Photo by Mike)

Mike and his passion fruit juice

Mike and his passion fruit juice

After we finish our passion fruit juice and leave the farm, I know from my bike ride with Audrey in October that we are almost back to town.  However, Esther has other ideas.  She veers off on another backroad to take us through more villages.  Once we get off onto the backroads, it starts to rain.  At first it’s spitting, but then it turns into a steady drizzle.  It seems like we’re riding forever, with Esther pedaling furiously onward.  I am now miserable and wet and just want to go back to our hotel.  Finally, Mike tells Esther that we want to go back to Yangshuo.  It’s a very long ride back into town.  Meanwhile I’m getting drenched and starting to shiver.  I’m getting the chills and I can feel a cold coming on.

Finally, we get back to town, pay Esther her money, and go to the hotel.  The room is quite cold, even with the heat on.  Mike and I decide to grab a bite at Rock-n-Grill, just to get out of the hotel.  At Rock-n-Grill, the restaurant is toasty warm.  We order wine and delicious Thai food and thoroughly enjoy our meal.  After dinner we take a walk through the town.  It has stopped raining by now but I am feeling quite miserable.  I have been not feeling great ever since the day in Zhangjiajie when my feet got wet, but now, I can feel a sore throat and a bad head cold coming on.  After I walk, I put on multiple layers of pajamas and cuddle up in bed, wondering how on earth I will survive not only the rest of my trip with Mike, but the next month of travel I’ve planned after Mike leaves.

 

Advertisements
Categories: Asia, Bicycle tour, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Rock-n-Grill, Travel, Yangshuo, Yangshuo River View Hotel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Post navigation

20 thoughts on “a rainy day bicycle ride in yangshuo

  1. The roads look good for biking, flat and not much traffic, what a pity about the rain.

    Like

  2. Cathy, remember me from the nail salon? I am the one who said she’d miss you!! And while that got us a good laugh, since we had never met before, I feel — after reading many of your posts — that I do know you a bit now. So, to read of your misery on this ride . . . I am sad and shivery for you. But this post gave me a realistic, and beautiful, virtual experience. And all from the comfort of my nice warm bed. Thank you for that. I hope you are feeling better. And, I still MISS you!!! Laughter!!!

    Like

    • Hi there Phyllis. Yes, of course I remember you! I’m glad you got to experience my wet bike ride from the comfort of your warm bed. That is a much better way to experience it, believe me!! I’m so glad you’re following along on my journey and I really do hope we’ll meet when I return home to Virginia in late July! I really do MISS YOU TOO!!!! 🙂 Haha. xxx

      By the way, do stay tuned. When my son arrived on February 2, we went to Yunnan province, and we had beautiful weather for two solid weeks. It’s not all as miserable as this. Also I spent two weeks in Myanmar, which were wonderfully warm.

      Like

  3. The misty karats do look ancient and frozen in time, Cathy. Bike rides in China on back roads through small villages does sound incredible. Just something we read about.😊 Weather was your adversary, but glad the previous trip was full of sunshine.☀️

    Like

    • I love riding bicycles in parts of China, Lynne. I also rode one in Myanmar, and I even rode an e-bike in Bagan. It’s a lovely way to see the countryside. Just not in the rain!! At least I have been to Yangshuo in good weather, and I can easily go again from Nanning. But poor Mike! It was his only time to come to China, and this weather was all he got, sadly. 😦

      Like

  4. Most of the images didn’t load (slow internet) but I enjoyed the bicycle tour, rain and all. I would have been equally miserable in the finale of the rain. I’ll be back to enjoy the images when I’m in town using faster internet. Stay warm and well! Z

    Like

    • So nice to see you here in China, Z! I’m sorry about the images not loading. Believe me, I’ve experienced that in China too many times to count! Thanks so much for dropping by. I have such slow internet here that it’s hard to keep up with blogs like I used to. Oh and plus there’s work. But I’ll drop by soon to your place. 🙂

      Like

  5. Such a mysterious landscape in the mist. Sorry to hear you became ill, but with all that dampness and cold I am not surprised!

    Like

    • It is a mysterious landscape, Jude. I really do love Yangshuo when you get away from all the people and into the countryside. But I do like it better on a nice day. 🙂

      Like

  6. Oh, and I keep on meaning to tell you that I prefer the changes you have made to this blog – I was finding it difficult to read on the crimson background.This is MUCH better 🙂

    Like

    • That’s what I figured, Jude. I was having trouble reading it myself. I’m still not liking this theme that much. I used it for my Europe blog and I love it for that, but I’m still not sure it really conveys the mood of China. I may experiment some more yet, but not with a dark background, although I love the way a dark background sets off pictures. If it was purely a photo blog, I’d use the dark for sure. 🙂

      Like

  7. It’s stunning even with miserable weather but I wish it had been nicer for you and Mike.

    Like

    • Thanks, Gilly. I wish so too. I can always go back over the last 4 months I’m here, as it’s not that far for me. But for Mike, that was probably the only time he’ll see China. I know I won’t want to come back once I leave. 🙂

      Like

  8. I’ve chosen a suitably grey, drizzly English day to read this (in sympathy 🙂 ) But I know where I’d rather be, Cathy! Mind you, I’d cramp your style a bit because I can’t ride a bike. You’d be lost without that ability!
    You’re right- just like stepping into a Chinese painting. I could even cope with the mists. Poor Mike! Did he not get ANY sunshine?

    Like

    • Well Jo, I’ve been writing all of these posts in dreary, rainy Nanning, which is like doubling the dreariness! I look at dreary pictures, I write the disappointing words, and then I look out the window. It’s a multiplier effect, and not a good one.

      Jo, I can’t believe you can’t ride a bike! Oh my gosh, I thought everyone could ride a bike. Well, maybe it’s best; I had a number of topples off of bikes on my holiday; I suppose if you never get on one, you don’t have to topple!

      Yes, poor Mike! He hardly got any sunshine. Our first two days in Fenghuang were the only good weather days we had. After that, it was all downhill, right until the rainy day he left and Alex arrived. 😦

      Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

A lot from Lydia

You can learn a lot from Lydia...(It's a song, not a promise.)

Ink Arts by Carol

My site for offering my alcohol ink arts

I see Beauty everyday

Blessed be the ones that see beauty where others see nothing

BOOKING IT

Debra's Excellent Adventures in Reading and Travel

Marsha Ingrao

Traveling & Blogging Near and Far

PIRAN CAFÉ

Notebooks from a trampfest. Travel tips, tales and images, online since 2006.

Word Wabbit

Wrestless Word Wrestler

Cardinal Guzman

Encyclopedia Miscellaneous - 'quality' blogging since August 2011

A Faraway Home

Stories and tips from home and far away

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

sloveniangirlabroad.wordpress.com/

A blog about expat life and travel adventures written by an Slovenian girl living in Switzerland

Let Me Bite That

Can I have a bite?

Running Stories by Jerry Lewis

Personal blog about running adventures

Finding NYC

exploring New York City one adventure at a time

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

snippetsandsnaps

Potato Point and beyond

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

The Eye of a Thieving Magpie

My view of this wonderful and crazy life - as I travel and explore.

renatemarie.wordpress.com/

A (Mostly) Solo Female Exploring the World

NYLON DAZE

From London to New York, living in an expat daze

Blue Hour Photo Workshops

Photography is a constant travel to new places

Travel Much?

Never cease to explore and tell!

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

%d bloggers like this: