Cycling

We have our breakfast, it’s so good to have a few more western choices and they have Vegemite. (Not quite as good as Marmite but it does the job). We walk up the road to the bike hire place and select 4 bikes. They actually are all really crap with broken gears and chains and we take ages trying to pick 4 decent ones. Once we get slightly out of town it becomes quite quiet and we don’t want to end up stranded in the middle of nowhere. Also we have heard of other travellers accused of returning the bikes broken and being unable to get their deposits back.

In the end I’m the only one who ends up with a mountain bike and we set off along the road. Cycling is definitely one of the best ways to get around Yangshuo, it’s very flat and it gives us the opportunity to look at our surroundings. The paddy fields stretch for miles and framing Yangshuo are the amazing tree covered limestone peaks. It is said by the Chinese people that Yangshuo is the most beautiful place in the world. The world of course being China!

We cycle for an hour or so eventually reaching a small village. It’s interesting seeing the market stalls and we stop and buy some water and a large fruit that looks like a giant pear but tastes like a grapefruit. We carry on for a while and Simon stops and takes some photographs of Water buffalo lying in the river with just their heads out. It’s really hot now and the kids are exhausted, cycling on their ancient bikes is very hard work and I swap bikes with Ali. As we reach the village again we decide to get a “van taxi” back and pile in with the bikes for the most uncomfortable, jolting ride home ever.

We have a shower and spend the afternoon doing some maths with the kids. Ali restrings his guitar and we sort out some laundry. In the evening we go out for food and see a restaurant advertising fajitas. As we haven’t had any Mexican food for ages we decide to go for that. Big mistake! The strips of chicken and beef came accompanied with sweet pancakes, Thousand Island dressing and squirty cream. Horrible and at 20 quid also very expensive. What a waste of money, none of us ate much.

I have enjoyed it here but can’t wait to get to Hong Kong now. There are loads of mosquito’s here and we have been bitten a lot. We stopped taking our malaria tablets a week ago which is good but have had to buy some extra repellent. The weather has also been very unpredictable which has made it hard when packing our rucksacks.

Off to bed now, we are thinking of catching a local bus to Xingping tomorrow, a local beauty spot where the mountain scenery is described as breathtaking. Will see what the weathers doing first though. Really can’t face getting soaked again.