March 23rd

It was another cold, grey, gloomy, overcast day but it wasn’t raining so Linda and I spent a few hours wandering around the town. We climbed the hill called Schoolboy Hill at the centre of the park behind the hotel and were rewarded with a good view of the town, which occupies a y-shaped space between the strange, upthrust fingers of the hills.

Back down in the town we ate a snack of noodles in the Green Lotus Peak Café and while we were there our Australian room-mate Janita joined us, so we set off together to do some more exploring. We walked up over a small cutting separating the docks from the town, then followed the riverbank upstream along a path cut along the cliff face and lined with trees and several small pagodas.

There was a market for tourists coming upriver from Guilin and the shopkeepers were rabid capitalists without a doubt. We browsed for a while in the shops full of paintings, jade work and all manner of Chinese junk then carried on along the road out of town which ran parallel to the wide brown Li River.

We turned off the road after about half an hour and walked up a narrow valley through orange groves and mud. The path led to a wall spanning between two peaks and covered with broken glass. Janita, an adventurous little soul, climbed over the locked gate and reconnoitred the area, returning to tell us that was a waterworks and there was no one around, so we also climbed over and sneaked down through the plant to the lower gate, climbed over that and made good our escape back into town.

Back at the hotel, we rested for an hour or so then went up to Lisa’s for dinner and beers.

The Li River at Yangshou (Photo: supplied)

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