I had been moving around for the past two weeks not staying at one place for more than 3 days so, a week in Nanning, not having to plan anything, and the company of friends felt exactly like what I needed. I got to see a bit of the city, have a rock climbing/swimming in springs day trip, and try some of the local food.
My friend had a few days off, because of a national holiday, so we went over to Yangshuo which is a 5 hour bus ride away from Nanning. We stayed at a house in a village about 25 min by bike from the main town center. The bike ride on the first night involved a peaceful stretch through paddies under the moon light, allowing us make out the silhouettes of the karst formations.
The morning brought the beautiful views into light and, after breakfast, we set out to do what would be the routine for the next few days: climb, bike ride to town, dinner.
I decided to stay in Yangshuo a couple extra days, after my friends went back to work, to see the town and do some of the touristy things available: I biked and hiked up to Moon Hill, walked by the river, biked around one of the other villages close to town, and even got an exciting trip to the local hospital due to a toe injury (which ended up not being to bad, although 3 month later is still not fully cured).
I then grabbed a two hour bus over to Guilin. I found the city quite nice to explore, it had history sights, the feel of Yangshuo with the river and the karst formations (but with an industrial city in the middle), and the ease of western oriented hostels, bars, and restaurants that can be comforting when you are feeling a bit lonely. This city was one of those where I was able to picture myself living for some time.
I enjoyed my week alone, but towards the end I was ready to head back to Nanning and plan out my last couple of weeks in China.