Tuesday, 24 August 2010

China - The first 26 hour train

Day 8

Hello everyone!

Nothing much of note actually happened on our 26 hour train. It got boring at times - I got so desperate that I learnt to play cribbage. I also had the pleasure of using a squatter right after a pensioner who didn't bother to wash down his faeces. A lot of sleeping happened. On a brighter note, some of the scenery was great.

We were heading away from the cities to a small town called Yangshuo. It's setting, in amongst the incredible Karst mountains, is spectacular. We had been warned that it was something of a tourist trap, but it was going to be good to be somewhere quiet where we could recharge before hitting Hong Kong.

So quiet, in fact, that it doesn't have a train station. We took the train to Guilin, and then got a bumpy 90 minute bus to Yangshuo. Matt and I said our goodbyes to Kelly, who was staying in a remote part of the mountains, before walking down the main street to get to our hostel.

This walk was a shock. It was as if someone had lifted a road from a popular 18-30 resort, such as Ayia Napa, and plonked it in the countryside. All signs were in English, the main street cluttered with bars and Western-looking restaurants, and swarms of people who were definitely not Chinese. Not what we were expecting.

Another thing we weren't expecting occurred five minutes later, luckily just after we had located our hostel. A freakish, violent storm swooped in, illuminating the individual mountains that were being lashed by rain. We were all on the rooftop, drinking beer whilst watching on in awe.

It soon passed, and we were soon in the bars. People here play dice games a lot, and they are a good ice-breaker. We soon moved to a club of sorts, but not before I made a fool of myself. I went and tralked to a girl for a bit, until she got up...to serve new customers. Amateur.

In said club I met a guy from Wales. From Cardiff. From Whitchurch. Who went to my high school, and was two years below me. However, he had a sister in my year!? Crazy stuff. I eventually tired of being ground upon by a girl who we suspected was a prostitute, and we duly went home. Interesting start to our time in Yangshuo.

Love you all


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