Oct 30, 2012


We are walking on the main road of Getu. Looking around it appears to be a commercial from the communist party. Farmers, working hard look at you smiling as you pass by. The sun is shining on the rice fields and everybody is having a good time. Women are working while carrying a baby on their back, and very old people with enormous loads on their back are walking around with a content smile on their faces.
We have arrived in Getu, the place where the 2011 Petzl Rock trip took place. It is supposedly a new climbers mecca, and we are very excited to be here.
The main attraction of Getu is it's big arch, a monumental cave that goes straight through a mountain, and after settling in, that's where we want to climb first.
The walk up is hard, the steps are steep, and I feel exhausted when I come up. When I look around I am really amazed. I feel like there must be dinosaurs living here! It has to be one of the most incredible places I have ever seen. The arch is 70 meters wide and 120 meter high. They say that one day, someone flew an airplane through it!
As we walk through the arch, I can feel raindrops falling on me. There are clouds inside and it's raining inside!!! It is really an amazing place….
When we start to climb in the Arch we notice how everything feels a little dirty. It looks truly amazing but the climbing is maybe not what we expected of it.
Sandra tries Sushisson 6b+, and after that Dragon Bolt 6c. The last route is very technical, but I manage to come to the top. Marcel climbs Capucine 7b on sight, and Dunman 7a+. The last route is really bizarre shaped underclings, and the steps are mainly friction. It is very typical for Getu.
In the following days we climb at various places, but our favourites are Banyang Cave, where Sandra climbs her first Chinese 6c, and Marcel red points and almost onsights several 7c's. Another favourite is Oliver's Crag and Wayangs Cave and of course Fish Crag, where I took this amazing picture of Marcel below. I also loved Rastaman Crag, where I onsighted my first 6c+!!! :-))) My goal of the trip, to climb 7a, is coming closer!
We finally stay in Getu for 2,5 weeks. We love it very much. The climbing is great and the people are really nice. In the beginning we are with about 30 climbers in the village because it is national week, a holiday for all the Chinese. But after that week we are only there with 9 other climbers. We eat together every day, the same Chinese dishes in the same restaurant, and after 2 weeks we are craving for different food. We look forward to going back to Yangshuo and eat burgers, pizza and meat!

Umbrella for the sun
Getu Darker Days 7b
Sandra climbing at Oliver's
The Arch
Marcel climbing in the Arch
Woman on the street in Getu
Farmers in Getu
Small and Big
Sandra trying a 7A

Oct 15, 2012

First impression of Yangshuo, China

We are now in Yangshuo, a city near Guilin, South China.. Yangshuo is a fairly large town, much bigger then we expected. And we don't notice much of the communism. There is an abundance of shops and traders here, the prices are free, and you have to negotiate everything. Everywhere people are persuading you to come inside and have a drink. Capitalisme rules here, I would say!

 The shops here are open from early morning to late at night. Not that it matters, because our backpacks are so full there is no room for shopping. I guess that's good for us for a change! The food here is amazing. Every day we eat "bao-tse" some kind of steamed bun filled with meat, vegetables and rice. We haven't eaten dog yet (that we know) but we did eat stomach… yes, the translation is in fact "meat" as well! We ate it, but maybe I would't have chosen it from the menu if I would have known!

 The Chinese like to cycle and the lazy Chinese ride electric bikes. You see those electric bikes everywhere. Public transportation is also very cheap. We have rented a bicycle several times, and we also take the bus. This morning, when I arrived downstairs, Marcel's bike wasn't there anymore. Of course it gave me a fright, thinking it for stolen for a moment. When I went looking for it, it turned out… it was towed away!!! It was parked in front of the wrong hotel, so it got towed away….. luckily we didn't get a clamb on our wheel, just like you get in Amsterdam! :-))

 The scenery is really pretty here. Yesterday we cycled to the Dragon bridge, along the Yulon river. It was really beautiful, like we where cycling in an old Chinese movie. Ricefields, mountains, little villages along the way. We watched water buffalo's and farmers working, and children running with us while screaming proudly "hellooooo!!!" to us. Needless to say, we took many photo's along the way. 

When we arrived at the hostel "Climber's Inn", Lilly the owner took us climbing on a nearby crag only hours after we arrived. That's what i call a warm welcome...  Climbing here is great! After a hard start because we needed to get used to the rock here, are we back in shape. We have been to Moon Hill twice already. This is a climbing area with rock in the shape of a half moon. You have to climb 700 steps in order to get there, but it's worth it! :-) On the stairs two old ladies sell ice-cold cola and mango juice. One is 56 and the other is 73 years old! Every day they climb all these stairs. Marcel went climbing with a South African man named Herman. Together they climbed "Moonwalker" a 7C. I climbed a very pumpy 6A+ and a 6B. The gradation is by the way a little harder then we are used to, but maybe we also need to get used to the rock a little more. We also went to White Mountain, one of the major crags here. This is a huge wall with a big steep section. On Moon Hill we also met a group of Chinese tourists. They where from a different part of China and did not see so many foreigners yet. "May I take a picture with you?" times 30 ;-) We will be famous! :-))