We had tons of fun biking in Yangshuo, and no one's bike broke down
! Contrary to our belief that it is forever raining in this region, the sun shone all day and surprised us all with sunburns. The scenery was picture-book perfect, and I know that everyone was in awe of the beauty in the traditional Chinese lifestyle. Rice paddies were flooded and ready for planting. Most were occupied by one or two, or sometimes a half dozen, farmers planting rice seedlings that were about 10 inches tall and brilliantly green. Other fields were still knee-deep with mud, and a lone farmer could be seen following behind a plowing water buffalo. Whatever type of work is being done in the fields, it is all done barefoot! I can't imagine being comfortable walking around in muddy or flooded fields. I mean, we didn't actually see any snakes, but we read that there are a lot in the area. And I don't think snakes would be the only thing to worry about.
We drew straws, and Peter and I had to take Jenny in as a bunk-mate. Ha, ha, just joking sister. I wouldn't have had it any other way. It was just like the old days. She and I are taking forever to get ready, trying to ask Peter about clothes advice, and he could care less.... It was a really quick trip, but we crammed in a ton of fun. Much too soon it was time to fly back to Zhuhai so we could send my little sister on her way. And too bad, because she had just finally learned how to use her chopsticks!
On day two of our adventure we headed south for another boat cruise on the Li jiang. Miraculously, the rain let up, and despite the forecast for heavy rain, we had the most clear view of the karst peaks that we have seen yet. Of course, it wasn't all easy. In China it never is. Our bamboo raft driver didn't show, and we were all stranded in Yangdi with our luggage. Many other boat operators were around, but lots of them are not legally licensed and most of them are trying to rip you off. After several conversations on the phone in Chinese with the people who were supposed to meet us, and a barrage of locals trying to haggle us, we finally found a new operator to take the five of us down the river. This is one of those instances where my Chinese lessons really payed off and saved us from a disappointing afternoon. Later that day it did start to rain again, but it would turn out to be the last rain of the trip.