Post # 83 Guilin
Day 96 894 days to go. Distance today 70km total 5775km. It’s 8.50pm Monday 2012 Guilin. Ive just had the nicest skype with my partner it’s so warm and fuzzy to be loved yayayaya. It’s been a good good day. Had to do a few have to’s this morning which worked out well because it was pouring so I had a legit excuse to hold off peddling. Finally headed at midday via a vending lady who was selling deep fried battered date fruit mix. I know this sounds a bit scary but they are super yummy. They use this date mix in steamed buns and bread but yesterday in Xingping I tried one of these as they smelt so good and they are. I spotted another vending lady this morning super perfect and one fills the belly nicely for an afternoon’s ride. I had spotted the road to Guilin on the way in so there was no mucking about with directions which was a nice break. It was farming land and dotted villages to Guilin amongst karst so the ride here was more of the beautiful same.
I spotted a woman herder earlier on watching out over her water buffalos in the field. She was singing to them. It wasn’t a song as such but like a spiritual call but with melody. It was so captivating I stopped and listened for ages. She didn’t seem to know I was there and just kept singing away. It was really heart felt with such adoration and care in her tones. There is a similar scene on Wild China with a woman singing to baby alligators she was caring for as part of a conservation project. The same chanting like song full of a spiritual sense. I wonder whether its a religious thing and would have loved to had spoken with her today about it. Anyway it was a really special thing to see and another treasured memory now yay. It’s the little things that are big in significance for me. I love these moments and the feelings stick which is really cool. I had my break by another field of water buffalos. I spotted two young males playing head butts to practice being big. They so weren’t but you wouldn’t tell them that. They were clearly very brave and dominant and would someday soon be alphas amongst their peers 🙂 I enjoyed my coffee watching the darling idiots head butt themselves silly. Again another little thing big. The road lead straight into the centre of Guilin and I soon found a hostel with rooms for 60 yen and wifi yay. About 20km before Guilin there was a clear change of weather and at least 5 degrees warmer. The difference between 5 and 10 degrees on the bike is huge for me and soo much more enjoyable. The sun even tried to come out as I cycled into town. On that note I owe the work experience lad at the Guilin Meteorology centre a huge apology. He’s doing a great job with a promising future ahead 🙂 I’be been trying to gather a few more Mandarin words for my toolbox. I’ve taken what I can from the Lonely Planet and tried Babel Fish for a couple other phrases but no luck so far. I’ll keep looking for a translating program. Anyone got any suggestions for a site that translates English to Mandarin? Mandarin is the official language in China with lots of dialects and sub dialects. Chinese writing is quite beautiful and is often referred to as pictographs. The characters are stylized pictures of what they represent. In 1958 the Chinese adopted a system of writing their language using the roman alphabet and planned to do away with the characters. This language is called Pinyin. Traditionalist resisted the change and it’s since been abandoned. You may see a bit of Pinyin on signage in the cities but not much and rarely outside the metros and never in villages. For me the translation needs to be in Pinyin so I can pronounce it. The vowels and consonants are unique but easy enough to sort out. For example ‘i’ after c.ch,r,s,sh, z, or zh has a rrrr sound. ‘sh’ is sh sound but with the tongue curled up and back. Same goes for ‘zh’ which is a j sound with the tongue curled. These three sounds are unique and common sounds when listening to folk speak. All very interesting!! So that’s about me for tonight. I still want to run my eyes over the itinerary for the next days and have some dinner so I might end it there and talk soon x
I wonder what your world looks like
up there amongst the peaks
soaring grand above the Li
diving for fish to eat.