Midnight mountain rescue in Yangshuo
Yangshuo Travel Blog› entry 36 of 52 › view all entries
Rain, rain and more rain in Guilin, flooding my hostel and washing down the dirty streets. During my busride to Yangshuo it's still pouring down, and I can't see anything other than thick white foggy clouds. However, as I arrive in Yanghsuo the weather clears a bit, and I'm hit by Yangshuo's beauty, full force. Quote me on this; Yangshuo is the most beautiful place on earth.
There you go, I've said it. Prove me wrong. I'm not joking here, Yangshuo will enchant you. It's magical, mysterious, unbelievable, crazy, extreme. If you haven't been to Yangshuo yet, start calling your travel agent, now.
So after a tout picks me from the bus and drives me over to his hotel, I make myself comfortable in my room. I'm paying the same per night as in Guilin, but instead of a four share, I now have my own double bed, ensuite'd and all, so that is sweet as. I sign up for a boattrip over the Li River, and my bus to the river leaves.. in a matter of minutes. Shite. Via a bus and on the back of a motorbike I'm the last person to be delivered to the boat, which sets off directly after I board. The scenery is nice; it's still a bit cloudy around the peaks, but at least it's not raining anymore. We anchor at a small bank in the river to be hassled by the vendors and to take some photos, and that's where I meet Niv.
Niv is a 29 year old Israelian running an import business who is travelling China mainly because of the Guangzhou Trade Convention.
The day after we meet and proceed to find a motor. I'm going with a scooter instead, and we head out of town, in search of freedom. It's not hard to find. After a while we find a new highway being build. Still in progress, the road is not open for traffic, but with our twowheelers it's not hard to get up the ramp. Imagine a brand new road, totally empty (except for a big roadwork truck now and then), through the most magical landscape in the world.
Niv and I own the new Yangshuo highway. We stop whenever we like, talk with the roadside workers, take them for a ride or give them a lift to the worksite on the back of our bikes. We get off the road, visit a village where Niv practises his Chinese with the villagers. We have lunch with the locals and earn lots of smiles. Niv also earns lots of cries, as he has the miraculous gift to make every child cry just by paying attention to it. Good times.
We return in the direction of the ramp where we got on the road, but unknowingly drive straight past it. We continue on for a long time, enchanted by the landscape. We meet a Chinese farmer busy ploughing his ricefield and we have some laughs with him.
After my super experience we suddenly realize we're running out of time fast to get back to Yangshuo, and luckily for us we find out that Yangshuo is on the way back, instead of the direction we're going in.
I'm driving for fifteen minutes when I see a tent alongside the road. I stop and ask for gasoline, desperately pointing to my scooter and tank. The roadworkers are not intrested though. They have no idea what I mean and can't be bothered. Luckily, the minivan passing does understand my problem and after failing to transfer some fuel of their tank to mine, they tell me to wait at the viaduct. Ten minutes later they're back with two half liter bottles of fuel. Legends! They refuse any money for the gas, and I'm off to Yangshuo.
Unbelievably, the gasstation won't serve me, and sends me away. I make it to Yangshuo, fill up my tank at another station and ask them for a jerrycan to put some fuel in. No jerrycans available, but they do have a wateringcan for me. Nice. Mission: Mountain Rescue is about the go into phase two. It's almost eight when I arrive back at the ramp, and it's fully dark now. I follow the road, calling out for Niv and beeping my horn every other second.
I'm calling out for him and beeping all the time, and ask everyone on the way if they've seen a tall guy walking past with a motorbike on his side. A lot of the people don't understand me, one gets out his mobile phone and calls an english speaking friend.
And that's the point where I hear someone shouting, and revving a motor up against the ramp. Niv. On a scooter. What?
Apparently, after waiting for a small hour, Niv figured I must've ran of gas as well, and started walking with his bike.
I ought to kick his Israelian ass right then and there, but don't. Instead, we're teaming up the next day for some more exploring. Sigh, I know. This time we're making sure we have motors with working fuelmeters and extra fuel at hand. Even better than the first day in terms of freedom, and this time it's Niv that ploughs a rice field.
Despite how I felt during my search for Niv, now I can look back at it with a smile.