Monday, March 15, 2010

Elephant Cave Park, Guilin (part 1)

I had a small map and a free afternoon. Some of the roads were marked in Pinyin, and some were not, some were just lines, and some were not there at all. I walked towards the river and crossed a bridge, and for a short while stood and watched while someone burnt something on the beach

and then someone else extend a patch of bank she'd claimed, carefully tilling the soil, surprisingly black and apparently fertile

and I remember too an old woman seriously and slowly working out on some adult-sized pieces of gym kit, arranged on a small playground.

Then into a park that led to a hill

and steps

and an old pagoda

with a view over the river Li and part of the 'small town' of Guilin

and a cave.

Then down again, not really believing I was there

past a series of cafe tables with an overbearing shelter,

a shrine to one god

and then another

and another

a summerhouse (or maybe small pagoda)

until, at last, the elephant cave, a trunk sweeping floor, bewitched into stillness.


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