Nicola's Eastern Adventure travel blog

26th April 

So TODAY has actually been the best day so far. Got up for an amaIng cafe breakfast in the sun and then uttered the words that could have potentialy made or ruined the day... 'i fancy a bike ride' Karine was thinking the same thing, Louise was not and was actually quite reluctant buy decided she would take one for the team as it is the best way to see yangshou. So we hires bikes and instantly regretted it as we tried to navigate through the busiest street. When people say 'it's like riding a bike' there lying because riding a bike actually doesn't came straight back to you and does require practice especially when your surrounded by indecisive hineese people. Louise dinged her bell for  a full 10minutes and I was unable to function for a laughing fit. 

Took a number of wrong turning but eventually left the built up area behind. It was so beautiful we were once again cycling through jurrassic park land. Just the three of us and one crap map on deserted winding roads. When we realises we has gone past our turning we didn't realy care. Just bought an ice lolly and sat looking at the scenery. We were in a tiny rice farming village which sold the most disgusting icelollies in the world. They had some kind of beans in them so we washed it down with our emergency beer. When we got back onto the right track we were almost sold tickets to the caves we wanted but were dubious because we had heard there's a number of fake ticket touts so decided to carry on and buy it directly from the cave entrance. When we got to the closest village we realised just how much we would have been ripped off as this woman offered us a realy good price with a free bus transfer there. However we were being stubborn and sceptical we figured that we had came this far by ourselves so we might as well go the whole hog for that sense of achievement and we did even though he told us it was a 40min bus ride away. We looked on the (crap) map, decided she was a liar and headed off. This section of the ride was tough especially as we had been going 3hrs already but it was a tiny rural dirt track and we saw some villages untoched by tourism. 

Got to the caves eventually and had to argue so hard for him to give us the same price as the other woman (Which was a bit gutting especially as we had just knackered ourselves with the last streach of the ride) but eventually he came down to our price. It's auh a faf bargining here, you always have to go through the same routine laughing at eahother suggestions, pretending to walk away and then getting called back. He let us unchain our bikes then hae to chain them up again. I told him we had limited time so to be quick about it. 

The caves were amazing had to get in a tiny boat to row through the slit of an entrance and sick down then you docked inside the saw and set off on the tour of the underground river and waterfall. Sometimes you were in a vast cavern and other times you has to crawl through all in flip flops as you sometimes have to plodge. We walked to an underground waterfall and I was a geek right up front with the tour guide answering all the questions and taking all the photos (much to the amusemet of everyone else).

Then we got to a mud pool where we could wallow. I'm not sure if it was meant to be good for the skin or just fun but we got in and got covered. We were the only ones there and had a good giggle deciding that the reason we didn't get the bus transfer for the same price was so that we could wallow alone as apposed to a bus load of chineese. We then got hosed down (literally) and headed for...... Wait for it...... The natural hot springs.... Still inside the cave. Amazing. They were actually bath hot and the cave was steamy, just lit by fairy lights. All that was missing was some lush products. 

After our relax (and using the emergency first aid kit, I had uselessly been carrying around for 7weeks, on my knee I grazed on the mud slide) we decided we had better hurry back as the sun was on it's decent and nowhere has street lights. We did hurry and saw dusk hitting the lit area just at the right time. I also had my iPod so I could song very loudly for the duration of the journey. Couldn't have been better.

Got back and it did get better as I has burger with chips then shared a pizza and then had a banana pancake haha! We went back to the beer pong bar but it closed so we all just sat on a rooftop and had some more delightful rice wine which is 55% proof for £1.10 a bottle so you can imagine just how delightful it realy was. Although strangely it didn't take away the pain in my knees. I'm afraid that cycling for 7hrs on a tiny chineese bike without any greats and my knees up around my ears may have brought on the Todd arthritic knees a few years too early 


27th April 

Got up and didn't check out. We just told the receptionist it was ok and she believed us so we went out for a late breakfast overlooking te river and then said bye to Karine as we pit her on her bus to Chengdu. Saying goodbye is rub. Lou and I then spent aaaaaages aorting out our bags and packing our washing before checking out and sitting in the reception trying to sort our hostel for the next night. We discovered that Guangzhou only has one hostel as, although it's the third biggest city in china it'sdesogned purely for business. We managed to get a hotel room cheaper than the hostel though so were happy especially as we got their address and directions translated to chineese. 

I snuck into the communal shower and washes my hair before we went for an evening strole. It realy is a beautiful place and the village is so small you make aquaintences with the locals and we each had our favourites. 

We got our transfer to our first sleeper bus at 9pm and once on could do nothing but laugh at ourselves. It was obviously designed for the average chineese person so we were scrunched in. Most people were asleep already so we were on top bunks and lou stood on someones head tryin to clamber up. The bus was the size of a normal coah but they managed to fit three rows of bunk beds in so the width of the bed was so small that of you lay on your side and the bus went over a bump you would fall off so sleepig wasn't too sound. Also the covers smelt of dog and neither of us had belts that worked to keep us in. Luckily I was next to a window but lou was in the middle isle so had a hard time of it. She also had a tv playing 'Rambo' (Which everyone was trying to watch) right in her face. We just laughed and laughed and got disaprovin looks and laughed some more. No toilet either so fingers crossed


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