China. Two-day 83 km jog around Guilin

Last year I worked in China and did jogging in my free time. In the summer, about six months before the global trend, I caught bilateral pneumonia. A month after I was discharged from the hospital, I had no time for running. It was a difficult time. When I got off the antibiotics, I still continued to cough like a tuberculosis sufferer. Chinese doctors said that everything is fine, or maybe not, but you are more careful there. With great care, I returned to exercise and running. It is in Russia that you can get to the doctor, go to the hospital or lie down at home without serious troubles (well, at least before the pandemic it was so), in China there are language and financial barriers.

Only in the middle of autumn I decided on some more or less serious volumes, and then I had a vacation for a week. I took maps, found interesting places on the day of the train journey from Shenzhen, and chose Guilin: rivers, mountains, jungles, small villages and roads with trails to run along.

I stuffed everything I needed into my backpack: phone, clothes, flashlight, documents, money and a system under water. Just over 4 kg. The weight is unpleasant for running, but seems to be tolerable.

I was lucky and not lucky with train tickets. They were, but only standing places, since for the holidays normal tickets are dismantled a month in advance, or even earlier. My first little test on the way to the starting point.

I arrived in Guilin at about 5 am, before dawn. I changed into a jogger, did a warm-up and began to get out of the city while he was still sleeping. It is much more uncomfortable with a backpack than in training without it, but “these are the conditions for racing.”

On my way out of town, I ran into parks and attractions. It is not difficult to find them – in our time, I downloaded the maps and here they are, all in front of you, just choose. Scored in the route and they will not get lost anywhere, although sometimes you can cut a couple of circles in search of an entrance, for example.

There were many stops. I like to do micro-pauses during the race, take a shot, another. On the one hand, it breaks the pace, on the other hand, it is an opportunity to take a breath and save a shot from the trip.

Meanwhile, the city was waking up, filled with movement and life. The sun also appeared with the people. It’s beautiful and even mesmerizing. It’s a hot day!

Over the morning, I stretched my legs decently and got hungry. I was saved by a street restaurant outside the city. I stopped there to get some spicy meat noodles and drink a glass of Chinese tea, and only then, fleeing the sun, I climbed under the shadow of the bridge, pitched my tent and fell apart to rest.

Hour of rest and go! There is an excellent path for cyclists and pedestrians from the city. In some places it is rubberized, in some places it is simple asphalt. You can’t find such people in our city, but here you can run between cities in comfort!

I took the route along the river. Here I think it is clear without words what kind of excellent views and a little fresher air.

Just like on the train, here you can meet crowds of people on holidays. Moreover, they all choose the water route. The people on the path could be counted on one hand. The triumph of passive rest, and I don’t mind – the path is freer!

In the evening I had to move a little away from the river in order to gain altitude and overcome a small pass. I still had strength, and when the sun went behind the mountains, the weather became incredibly comfortable. Fresh breeze, clean air, no insects – a fairy tale! Even the road up the hill was a thrill, even though I was crawling like a turtle, constantly stopping to take a long exposure photo. Wow, how many pictures I screwed up with my trembling hands! There was no place for a tripod in my backpack, and figs with it.

I spent the night at the pass itself, simply because it is fresh there. It was some kind of small village with nonsleeping locals. They decided that I looked too skinny and gave me a serving of noodles with vegetables. They even invited me to spend the night, but in a tent under the stars I felt more comfortable … This is not to say that I was tired, sweaty and smelly like cattle!)) I did not embarrass them, I washed myself with a hose and fell asleep. All this was almost in complete darkness, except for the outline of the mountains, a few local houses, nothing could be made out. During the day I wandered 45 km.

“Morning in the Chinese Village”. Well, or something like that. True, without the Chinese, and my narrow eyes can be found in the first photo in the post)

The day started with citrus fruits! Tangerines, oranges, pomelo. Fruit gardens from all directions. This was not in my little guidebook, but it came as a very pleasant surprise!

Orange gardens. And what a scent here in the morning! Something like this is promised by manufacturers of household goods, speaking of freshness. But have they been here, have they smelled fresh oranges in the mountains? I think no.

Here they are overgrown oranges – pomelo, with an emphasis not on “o”.

By noon, I reached a larger village. There were crowds of tourists here! They were taken here by buses all from the same Guilin, and a little later I found out why. The answer lay in the pocket of almost every Chinese.

This is because the places here are so beautiful that they are printed on all 20 yuan bills. You can even find similarities in my next two photos. Two moments at once spoke about my preparation for the route (however, I sculpted it along the way): first, I found out that this place was captured on the twenty already at the place where everyone took pictures with this very twenty, the second – I did not there were twenty! Yes, I was begging for twenty to also take a picture for memory!))

On a local ferry, I got to the other side. Probably, I had to cross the river myself in order to be in the style of my travels, but I did not dare to undertake this wonderful idea. I can make excuses that there is nowhere to put the equipment, it is not very pleasant to run in damp shorts and I am a so-so swimmer, but I just won’t do it)

According to tradition or the laws of physics, I was again waiting for a climb. This time, not just away from the river, but in a specific place, temptingly marked on the map as View Point. An experienced traveler with shitty English immediately understands that you can find a good view and even a whole observation point there.

Leaving all the tourists by the river, I set off in search of a road to the cherished place.

On the way I met these beautiful two-wheeled travelers. Unlike the guys at the river, these saluted and even saluted!) Our meeting was short, but memorable. Handsome men! Now I also got a two-wheeled friend, I dreamed for a long time, but this is a completely different story!

The observation deck turned out to be commercial. Entrance fee is about 600 rubles. Nearby there was a stop for jeeps and minibuses, and a flock of tourists hung around the ticket office. To give 600 per frame, even with a good view, I was broke. During the day I have already collected a small collection of frames, I could have done without one, if not for one but .. on the map there was a dashed dashed line leading through the thickets a little to the side with another not so noticeable view point.

The trail led slightly to the side of the road. In some places it was completely overgrown, and in one place I had to climb a little over the stones. Disabled people would be problematic here, but the elderly and children would be able to cope with such a small obstacle on the way. As a reward, the view in the photo below is absolutely free, without queues and ice cream stands.

It was a wonderful day. I returned to the main road and went to the nearest town, it may still be 10 km. They did not go as briskly as we would like. I’m pretty tired, ran over and roasted under the sun. My strength was still weak after pneumonia, and most importantly, it is not known how weak. I decided that there would be enough errands for this trip and it was time to get back to good old hitchhiking. I didn’t know that I’ll get to the city by hitchhiking by 4 in the morning and I still have a small race in Shenzhen for 20 km to the house, while the subway does not work. Great bonus, beautiful city! And how I dreamed of a hot shower and a cozy bed, and a plate of fruit! These are the incentives!

Approximate route. Collected by GPS from strava. Maybe someone will be useful. There are trains to Guilin from all over China + there is an airport.

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