To the Moon and back

Rain woke us again the following morning, but we were determined to rent bikes anyway. Ponchos on, we struck out for Moon Mountian, a triangular hill with an almost perfect circle carved in it that gives the illusion of the Moon rising. The rain was certainly unpleasant, but it did guarantee the clouds that contrast so nicely with the karsts.

With so few people out in the rain, we had the mountain to ourselves. Just s I was about to call for a rest, Colin announced that we’d arrived. Standing inside the inside of the “moon,” we had an unobstructed few of the rain-washed countryside below. Clouds passed not over, but through us, at times making the outline of the very mountain we were standing on fuzzy.

Back on our bikes at the base, Colin wanted to check the price of a trip to the Moon Mountain Wate Cave, which promised hot springs, swimming pools, and mud baths. At the ticket booth, 360 yuan became 320 and then 230 after a moment’s hesitation from Colin. Finally: “OK, I’ll give you the locals’ price, 80 yuan.” We didn’t have cash on us, plus we hadn’t eaten since a small bowl of oatmeal hours earlier, so we said maybe tomorrow.

The rain having mostly stopped, several cyclists had were on the road. We joined the parade of Chinese couples on tandem bikes and groups of squeling girls along a charming scenic route. Rice fields and plot of corn grew along the river, and cloud remnants clung to the karsts that towered above. The path went though a small town before leading us back to Yangshuo, where our first stop was the Dumpling Dynasty. Entertainment that evening was, once again, the World Cup.

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