06.02.2012 - 06.02.2012 6 °C
Looking like more rain this morning, but am hiring a bike to get further into the country side.
So at about ten it looks like its easing up, so I pop down to the local bike hire,mod which there are 25 I'm told, and hire a bike that would not pass inspection in Australia. The breaks are dodgy, handlebars are loose, I am surprised the wheels aren't falling right off but anyway off I go to experience the farming side of Yangshuo.
About a hour and a half into the ride you ride through some magnificent scenery, rice fields, old buildings, water buffalo, of which I will not go near this time. But every now and then you have to stop to just stand in the most tranquil surrounds I have ever experienced. So after a hour and half of riding it starts to rain a little so I ride to this little shack which I find out is a cafe (of sorts) it's dirty dingy leaking, but it's cover and the rain is only getting heavier. I order some food, dumplings seamed the safest so it took a little while to get them probably finding the produce which I am a little worried about but they look and taste good enough. After a couple of hour or so there (oh and get this it had WiFi) the rain eases and I take my opportunity to get out, so thankfully having a larger than normal rain jacket, it covers my backpack, so down the hill at speeds this bike should not be clocking and 2 hours later on a different but equally impressive route I make it back. The hardest thing is finding the bike shop you rented to bike from to get your deposit back.
Anyway with the rain all but over, I make my way the night markets. Unbeknown to me (well I sort of knew but hadn't quite thought about it)'it is the last day of the spring festival and the 2 week long celebration of Chinese New Year. The night markets are mad tonight with everyone trying to get some of these mushy rice balls with a sesame filling in water, I had them in Xi'an and they were pretty gross the only thing I haven't enjoyed here. But there are about 50 stalls around the place making them in big huge pots, and queues of 50 people each stall trying to get them (it's traditional to eat these on the last day of spring festival). But everywhere her is now a rush but an exciting one. After getting a quick video of pushing through the crowds I look for something to eat, but it is really busy, I don't know where all these people came from.
Had street food dinner with a few people from another hostel I met on the cruise, so I got the most incredible pastries, it's like 2 Parathas stuck together with a filling of I don't know but it's so tasty.
After that everyone wants to get an early night so I go back to the hostel with a bottle of Gordon's Gin ($10AUD) and lemonade, hard to find tonic here. So sitting on the balcony I have been told to wait for the fireworks by the hotel, so sipping Gin in the perfect setting. The fireworks started at about 8.30pm and went for a good two and a half hours there are incredible I mean they are fireworks but the fact that they are getting set off from the river which is maybe 20 meters from the hotel and maybe another 20 meters away into the river is the closest I have probably been to fireworks. It's like a war the noise, they have the stock standard fireworks but then the have these light up lanterns that get shot into the sky, and then parachute down all light up, it is quite fantastic and the picture do not do it justice unfortunately. So no earl,y night for me, finishes up around 11pm and after a bit of Skype, fall asleep after packing and writing this.