Detour to Guilin - 5,000 years of history - CycleBlaze

March 13, 2019

Detour to Guilin

This morning I searched the web and found reports of a hiking trail between Yangdi to Xingping. It covers the most scenic stretch of the Li River. It's 24 km long. Some would hike it one way and do the return by bus. Others would return using the boats on river.

I decided to ride it with my fully loaded bicycle on my way to Guilin. The pavement was far from smooth, but that was the least of my worries. There were many stairs scattered along the way. There I would dismount and carry my bicycle.

But the real worry was the 3 ferry crossings. The first one is marked and was easy.

But there was no regular service at the second one. A villager met me on the river bank. He owns a motorized raft, so we negotiated using translator apps.

"Can you swim ?", he asked me.

"Yes. Is 10 yuan enough ?"

He indicted something about the 100 yuan in my bag. This guy was not annoying me, but giving him much more than 10 yuan could encourage locals to harass foreigners in future.

I always bring food to a ferry crossing because I know how long it can take. Today eating was a negotiation tactic.

During that time another villager got on his boat and left. He ignored my questions.

It dawned on me that it's risky and probably illegal.

So I said goodbye and abandoned the last 5 km. I followed the only road out of town. It was steep, but it headed in the right direction. I made it to Guilin just before nightfall.

In Xingping, I climbed Laozhai Hill. The path to the top is so steep that it crosses over itself at this point.
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View from Laozhai Hill
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This view appears on the 20 yuan note. Minus the bicycle of course.
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The first ferry
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One of the sets of stairs
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The villager's boat
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Climbing out of the Li vallei
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This vehicle kept up with me for several kilometres. It would catch me on ascents, but I would pull away on descents.
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I followed this lovely cycleway to the outskirts of Guilin
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Along the cycleway, there are many of these fake rocks. They are speakers that play piano music.
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Today's ride: 111 km (69 miles)
Total: 685 km (425 miles)

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