China, Daxu to Caoping, October 9th, 2002.

Our second day on the Li River. A new freeway is being built to Daxu and the bus must drive a long distance on the unfinished roadbed. Slow and bumpy. We will have to negotiate this road twice a day now for the next few days of our trip.

The scenery continued to improve as we paddled farther from Guilin. However we never really found any true wilderness. There are people everywhere on the river and on the banks. We even found little one man tents made out of bamboo and plastic sheet. Sort of buivy tents made out of river trash.

We saw more cormorant fishermen today and large herds of ducks. Presumably these ducks will show up on the table at our restaurant later. We passed more water buffalo in the river. These animals universally seem to be upset to see us and head for shore. We mused out loud if we were violating the Chinese equivalent of the Marine Mammal Act. Or fresh water mammal act as this case may be. The owner of one of these buffalo was apparently upset at us for spooking his animal and threw a water bottle at us. Or perhaps he threw it to chase his bull back out into the water.

Our day of paddling ended at a town called Caoping that had a tourist attraction: The large “Crown Cave”. This was our tour for the evening before dinner. This cave turned out to be the Disneyland of caves with a train ride inside, two boat rides inside and a toboggan ride outside.

All text and images Copyright © 2002 by Mike Higgins / contact