The Lovely Guilin

29th July – 2nd August

My train to Guilin was like a spaceship!

image

And went pretty fast too…

image

On arrival in Guilin my taxi driver picked me up, and we had to get to the Li River in Yangdi before nightfall, where the bamboo boat driver would be waiting for me, to take me to the remote rural village of Langshi.  It became apparent as the night drew in, that we would not make it to the river before it got dark.  As the taxi driver spoke no English, and I no Chinese, I was unsure what this would mean, would I have to find somewhere to stay in Yangdi? Would i stay with the taxi driver? I had no idea!  When we arrived in the pitch black it was evident that the boat ride would still go ahead, as the boat driver was waiting on the pier for me.  Once afloat, he used a torch to check how close we were to the edges of the riverbanks, one side being sheer cliff faces of the karst mountains that fill this area.  I was a little concerned to say the least, especially as I was told the journey could not be done at nightfall, and here we were doing it!  It was also less than pleasant due to a hideous number of mosquitoes slamming into my face as I interrupted their night on the water!  There were a few other bamboo boats also still on the water in the dark, it was quite scary trying to work out if there was a boat heading straight for us or not!

Well, I arrived there safe and sound, and was instantly welcomed into the house by a group of friendly people, an Italian couple with their young son, and two guys from the U.S and Chile.  They had saved me some delicious food so I tucked into this whilst chatting away.  The Italian family were leaving the next day, and the other guys Mark and Sergio invited me on a hike the next morning at 7am which I gladly accepted.  This was with a local guide, and they like to go early to avoid the heat – good move!

I had booked to stay in this house through ‘airbnb.com’, where you can rent rooms in houses. This particular one had four large rooms along with the owners living upstairs.  Here is a link to the listing on airbnb, I think it shows just how lovely this property was, and to be set in such a tiny little village, where there is no tourism, no shops or even a restaurant, it really was experiencing local life at the heart of it, and not through a guided tour window.

The airbnb property I stayed in.

image

image

image

image

From left to right, a local guide, Haibo our lovely caretaker, Mark & Sergio

image

The hike the next day was lovely, through the village and up into the mountains a short way.  We stopped off to meet the goats

image

image

image

image

and saw some great views along the way

image

image

image

image

image

Our guide who I swear puffed on about 40 cigarettes over the course of the 3 hour hike!

image

Sergio and a rather large citrus fruit

image

image

image

image

image

image

There are also huge butterflies and colourful dragonflies, which posed just long enough for me to grab a few shots!

image

image

image

image

image

image

The largest one, almost the size of my hand, was too difficult to photograph though as they were constantly on the move.

We went with the guide to a small cave, where Sergio and I managed to scare the crap out of each other, he screamed so I screamed and we had no idea what was in this dark cave….

image

image

Frogs…

image

A strange looking spider…

image

Bats…
image

Sergio protecting himself with the fan (bearing in mind it was pitch black in the cave, it was only illuminated by the camera flash)

image

image

In the afternoon we visited a tea plantation, we had a lovely guide and it was a really nice trip. 

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

We had our own little tea party at the end!

image

image

Holding the glass the proper way!

image

image

image

Some photos of the Italian family and Mark & Sergio, and also of the village Langshi

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

A local cat
image

Bamboo boat ride

image

image

image

image

On my last day I decided to hike myself to a town called Xingping along the river.  It was a four hour trek there through trees and along riverbanks, across stone beaches and tiny little villages.  By 10am it was seriously hot!  I think in the region of 40°!  It was difficult to find my way a few times, but it felt good doing it by myself.

The riverbank I walked along

image

Cows in the walkway!

image

image

Bamboo graffiti

image

image

The scenery here is simply stunning

image

image

image

image

image

Bamboo scaffolding!

image

image

image

image

A funny little moment where I was unsure how to get round this part of the river, I eventually saw a way round but this lady insisted I couldn’t get round, so I gave her my 80p to get me across on her little raft, and I was chuckling away to myself because I knew I could have walked around the end quite easily, but I was so hot and didn’t want to walk up there on the small chance I couldn’t get through.  Oh well it earned her a few extra pennies for the day, them silly tourists!  🙂

image

After the long trek I wandered around the nice little town, then took a boat trip back which took an hour, it was very relaxing and the scenery is out of this world.

image

image

image

image

image

image

I see tortoises everywhere!
image

image

Drying foodstuffs (not quite sure exactly what) on the pavements
image

image

Got back and immediately changed into swimwear and jumped into the inviting river for a cool down!

image

image

image

image

image

A little walk around the village of Langshi

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

This was a friend of the owners of the house

image

And this is where he lived.
image

It is humbling when you see someone living like this, yet still he offered me drink, and meat and rice for dinner, which I politely declined because I already had dinner prepared at the house. This guy had very little, but still offered what he could to me. We shared some fruit, and I also took some photos, of which he pointed and said ‘jurgar’, which means ‘I want’ in Chinese, so I will email the photos to the owner of the house to show him.

Guilin was absolutely out of this world stunning, it will take a lot to top it!

Not so sure on the snack choices I had though….

image

Chicken feet anyone?!

image

So I opted for these instead…

image

12 thoughts on “The Lovely Guilin”

  1. Wow!! What an interesting episode. The house looks gorgeous as does the scenery all around!!. You are certainly seeing a different life Claire!!
    I am enjoying it with you!!!! Erica – Ruby Cottage xxxxx

  2. Hi Claire,
    I’m so enjoying ” sharing” your wonderful adventure. Wow girl your living the dream. Keep meaning to ask what camera are you using? Keep the updates and photos coming. I’m so thrilled for you. Big very envious hugs x x

    1. Hi Georgie, it’s the Samsung WB800F, pretty good camera, has full auto and manual control. It comes under the branch of an advanced compact. I must admit I am enjoying myself! If you fancy a holiday I’m always up for visitors! xx

      1. Hi Claire, Ill add the camera to my wish list. Id love to join you but work appear to think my roll in life is to be boring and sit behind a desk! There is the slim chance of escape with redundancies threatened so you never know.
        Have fun on my behalf, :}

  3. i can’t get over the shapes of the mountains! I’ve never seen anything like them – and I’ve travelled the world looking at mountains…(obviously not extensively enough!)

  4. Hi Claire your blog just gets better my youngest Daughter is often found looking at your photos she thinks your a bit of a celebrity!! take care from mike from work

  5. Hey love! Where are you going to be around April/May? Looking to go out east now! Be nice to try and hook up.

    P.S digging the bandana look, you need to be rocking it more often!

    Big love Kathy, Kezzer, Benny & Watson xx

  6. These pictures are wonderful , you look so happy on your adventure , this is somethink you will never forget love just keep enjoying and sending these fab photo’s . Mum xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

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