From Guilin to Yangshuo you can get a bus but instead, we only got a bus for part of the way. The full journey comprised of a mini bus > coach > raft > something resembling a golf cart > bus.
At some point during this journey, while we were on the raft, we heard the worrying phrase that I have titled this piece with.
There was a full coach load of people to be moved between the two cities and each raft held 4 passengers so that meant that a lot of rafts were needed to move everyone.
The drivers of the rafts were pretty close to one another at various points of the journey so that they could have a chat. Also having a chat on our raft was a guy from Argentina and a woman from Mexico. I overheard them asking one another where they were from and they seemed to be quite happy that they had another Spanish speaker to chat to.
I know the Spanish words for “butter” and for “what”. As I didn’t feel that those two words would enhance their conversation, I left them to it.
So in amongst the Spanish from them, the Mandarin being spoken by the captain of our vessel, noise of the engines of the rafts, we heard the phrase “”We’re hear to arrest you””.
As it were, there was nothing to worry about, when we stopped at a place to take pictures we were talking to the person who told us that he was here to arrest us and it turned out to be a guy who was from Partick but living in Southampton and was in China with some friends – the old “Glesga banter” was alive and well even on the other side of the world.
The rest of the journey passed without any more boat crashes, threats of arrest or confusion. After the journey ended, however, there was some confusion.
The coach was taking some passengers on to another trip so instead of dropping us off at Yangshuo south bus station, where they were supposed to drop us off, they ditched us in a street which was near a map. Before we realised that the bus station wasn’t quite ‘just over there’, the guide and the bus had already made their departure.
Our plan was to phone the hostel that we’d booked into so that they could pick us up at the bus station. We couldn’t as we weren’t at the bus station and had no ideas where the bus station was either. The map didn’t seem to know either.
Instead, plan B came into action, we’d get a street name and phone the hostel. Despite having told Tmobile that my phone was to be changed to pay as you go because of a trip to China, I got a message on my phone to say that the phone was suspended.
Plan C, (we were making these plans up as we went along) was to use a pay phone but couldn’t find one so we saw a shop with a phone and asked to use that. They kindly let us use the phone but that was no use either as we couldn’t get through to the number for the hostel.
So, on to plan D, we’d get a taxi and show them the address in Chinese so that they could take us to the hostel – there were no taxis.
After a bit of walking around in the heat while lugging our backpacks, a tuk tuk guy stopped and wanted approx £5 to take us to the hostel, we got him down to £3.50. It’s hardly a big saving but it feels like it was a good saving and you also got to go somewhere in a tuk tuk which is a pretty cool way to travel.
The luck was to change afterwards though, we got the hostel and were met by the owner Chris and his wife Linda who were very friendly and their staff Jerry and their two dogs. The slightly placid and chilled out ‘mimi’ and the utterly mental ‘steffay’. In Steffay’s defence, she is only a 5 month old pup.
They asked us if we’d like to join them for dinner so our first night was having dinner and getting to know our hosts. The next day, a French couple arrived and we out for a wee run on the bikes or should I say the ‘vélo’ ?