Rong'an to Yongfu
A little known but scenic alternative road to Guilin
If you had told me I would cycle Rong'an to Yongfu I would have asked: "where's Yongfu?" The idea was to cycle from Rong'an to Guilin passing the airport. A quick look on the map showed it should be around 100km or so. I was wrong, I was wrong in many ways, despite having cycled this road in 2002. I had forgotten everything, it seemed. The distance from Rong'An to Guilin would be almost 160km.
I had to follow the road 209 to Liuzhou for another 15 km before I found the junction to Guilin, which was very clear. The first shock was that Guilin was still 140km away. Aw... that hurts. In a straight line it looked very different. So there must come a lot of climbing... and indeed... a lot of climbing was to come!
After about 2 kilometers I had to wait for the passing train and immediately after this, the road started to climb. I didn't remember this climb. But during the climb I had some magnificent views over the surrounding land.
The road wasn't steep but continued climbing for about 7 km. The top was not very clear but the road when smoothly down to the next village: Siding where I had a short stop.
Although Siding had little to offer as a town itself, the surrounding was quite similar to Yangshuo, maybe less spectacular, but still very beautiful.
By now I knew reaching Guilin would not be as easy as I had anticipated in the first place. But the landscapes I was passing was beautiful. No complains here. I simply continued. I passed the junction to Liuzhou and went north. Finally I could give my legs a little rest. 70 km cycled and almost all went up and down (it felt more up than down).
In Baishou I wanted to have my belated lunch. I knew there was a hotel but I felt I could still make it to Guilin. So after a short stop, I continued. The land stayed flat for another 10 km or so.
That was the moment I left the flatlands and went back in the mountains. A 5 km long reasonable easy climb led me to a pass at 400 meter. After that I had a beautiful descending into the river valley. Once again the landscape had totally changed.
From here on Guilin was still another 65 km. And it was already 3pm. I knew I could still make as the sun should set around 7pm. Although I was following the river downstream, it was certainly not all the way going down. At many places short, sometimes steep little hills took me away from the river to villages and after the village, the road swindled quickly down.
In Xinglongun I made the mistake to expect the road to Guilin would follow the river. After a few km I realized my mistake and went back. When back on the road to Guilin I realized another climb would come and it was still 45 km to Guilin.
Why not follow the river to Yongfu? My map didn't show there was even a road but the road signs were clear: Yongfu: 28km. That sounded much more interesting. I checked my map and hoped the road would follow the river as long as possible.
So I followed the river and left the road to Guilin. With 28 km to go, it also seemed the road went more down than in the previous kilometers. I was now very tired but I also knew it wasn't far anymore, even though I didn't know there was a hotel in Yongfu but my heart told me not to worry.
The hardest part of the day still had to come. 5 kilometers before Yongfu, I left the river. Now a short but steep climb had to be taken before I go enter the city. Being tired this little but steep climb was almost too much and I was happy to finish the 300 meter climb. But that was only for a moment as I saw the next (and last) climb.
With my last collected power I reached the top of that little climb, even less than the other and let myself go down. I had reached Yongfu. Now I needed a hotel. The map showed me Yongfu was a reasonable sized town, with an entrance to the Guilin-Liuzhou highway, so there would be some hotels. I found a nice one, had a coffee and a shower and went out for dinner. It was just before darkness would come in. I had made it and it had been worth the energy spend.
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