Hello! After our awesome 24 hour train ride from Beijing to Guilin - where we met some incredible people, we were picked up at the train station and brought to our next hostel, located in the very tiny town of Aishanmen, just outside of Yangshuo – we’re deep in the karst peaks and rural farmlands. We have a billion pictures and video from everything since we left Beijing, but our connection here at the hostel is Dial-Up and it’s dark out here. DARK. Like, nighttime before electricity dark. – and it’s humid – and the mosquitoes are eating us up as I type this right now.

So. It’s going to be radio silence for a while and we’ll catch up at the next hostel in a few days – where for our blog’s sake, and my work’s sake, I will have a high speed connection.

Good night everyone, and to our new friends who we met on the train – you’re awesome and we will definitely keep in touch – with all of you – thank you for your kindness, and making this trip even more incredible than it already was – meeting people like you is part of the reason we went on this trip. Thank you. All of you.

 To all of our friends and family back home – it’s great here, we’re safe and tomorrow we’re exploring the karst peaks of the Yangshuo area – on bicycle!

I cannot describe how it feels to ride a mountain bike through the rural farmlands and the mist flowing through the mountains and enveloping everything. The fields, the people, the cows that plow the fields. It’s simply amazing to see, to experience, and to be fortunate enough to have seen this at all. We are deep in southern China and it’s humid. Close to Vietnam and the influence is noticeable. These next few days will be a sharp contrast from Beijing. This portion of the trip is what people romanticize about when they talk of backpacking and traveling without the luxuries and amenities of a hotel and working plumbing, and anything else that other ‘travelers’ think they need. I only wish I could truly convey what this is like.

-Leah and Mark