Bike Riders

Trip Start Nov 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
west lily hotel

Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Sunday, May 1, 2011

  Considering we've been pretty lazy lately we decided to rent bikes again and go and check out Dragon Bridge and the countryside that Yangshuo is so famous for. The bikes we rented this time were 15 speed mountain bikes which made going uphill alot easier than the 1 speed bike we had before. Our journey was going good until we stopped to look at the map and a woman peddeled up to us and said "Dragon Bridge" and pointed ahead, we nodded and pointed at the map to say we knew where to go. She started peddaling again and because she stayed so far ahead of us we thought she had left us alone. After a long ride on the highway and noticing her stopping or slowing down whenever we stopped to check the map we knew she had decided she was going to take us to the bridge. We were pretty annoyed since we knew what town we needed to turn off the highway in and all we would have had to do was point at our map when we got to the main intersection in town to ensure we were turning on the right road and now we were expecting her to stop at the bridge and ask for money for taking us there.
  When we finally arrived at the bridge there were also dozens of bamboo boats taking people down the river and our "guide" was trying to get us to take one, turned out that was how she was expecting to make her money off us, by getting us to buy a raft tour.We tried to tell her we had already done one and we just wanted to ride our bikes but she didn't understand so we just then said no (which we know she understood the meaning of). She didn't take that as a definate no though and got a friend who knew a bit more english to come talk to us, meanwhile we were trying to enjoy the bridge and take pictures. Finally we got them to understand we just wanted to ride our bikes and they left us alone, or so we thought anyway.
 When we were done at the bridge we went through paths in the town trying to find the bike path along the river. This is when our "guide" lady showed up again and told us to follow her. As we semed to just be hitting dead ends we reluctantly followed. She only took us back towards the highway again though so we stoppped and turned around as that was definately not where we wanted to go. Thankfully she didn't notice and we finally lost her.
After hitting a few more dead ends on that side of the river we decided to go back and cross the dragon bridge and follow the path on the other side of the river. We made one wrong turn and ended up walking our bikes literally along the dividers right through someone's fields. A lady working in one field though thankfully stopped us and gestured with her hands where to go. We found the path again and made our way through the countryside. It really is beautiful out there and once on the right path we were able to fully enjoy our surroundings.
Soon the gray clouds moved in though and a bit of rain started to fall. After a while of peddaling in the light rain we stopped under the shelter of the rafter of a building where some other people had also stopped. Soon it started to pour and we were trapped there for a bit watching two kids beside us playing with their slingshot to pass the time. A guy (maybe their dad or uncle) soon came out of the builing with his camcorder in hand and got the girl to stand by me (Jackie) to take a picture. She tried to shake her head no as she was a bit shy and I assume a bit embarrased so I just nodded and tried to tell her it was alright; she seemed ok with it then and posed with me for the picture.
 After the rain settled down and almost cleared we made our way again and got quite a ways before it started up again. This time with our cheap plastic raincovers on we just kept going and ignored the rain. When we came to the river crossing we had to pay 20Y to get across which we thought was a little steep but there was no other way, unless you wanted to walk across a stone dam just up the river but I did'nt think it was a good idea considering there was water rushing over it and we had mountain bikes to take across
  It poured hard for nearly the entire way back which due to a wrong turn took about two hours. Because the rain ponchos were made of the thinnest plastic imiaginable we were absolutely soaked when we got back to the hotel. We had a blast riding in the rain though and were just happy it wasn't insanely hot and humid for the 4 hour ride we had just done.
  We spent the rest of the evening looking into either a train or flight to Chengdu only to discover that all the trains would be booked because it's a national holiday this weekend and our credit cards wouldn't work to book plane tickets online so we have to make our way to Guilin and wait until the 4th before we can leave for Chengdu or maybe longer.
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