Here’s a wider shot of yesterday’s Beachcomber showing the person in relation to the landscape. We’ve actually cruised on so it’s not quite the same angle.

One of my favorite subject in High School was Geography, particularly Human Geography – the study of man’s interaction with the landscape.

In some landscapes, often remote places, man is an infrequent visitor. In others, man is so present that the landscape itself is obscured.

Here, among these karst limestone outcrops, the Beachcomber cuts a lonely figure. At first glance he seems insignificant in the landscape. But when you raise your gaze to the tree line, beyond the trees you can make out fields on the fertile floodplains of this valley.

While the hills may remain zones of minimal observable human interaction with the lansdcape, the floodplains tell a different story.

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I still can’t fathom what this beachcomber was looking for. He/She was patiently turning over rocks on the bank of the Li River near Guilin in China.

This person remained hereabouts, crouched down as my boat approached, drew alongside and then receded into the distance. The beachcomber’s gaze never left the rocks, it was as though turning over the rocks was some form or ritual meditation for this person.

I suspect this person had been performing this ritual for many years before my boat drifted by and, I hope, for many years after.

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Today’s image is another general view of the scenery of the Li River near Guilin in China.

The Li River loops and winds its way around the karst limestone hills of this region.

My guess is that most of the people living here on the boats only float a short distance upstream and downstream from here.

I wonder if someone born into this landscape would be as fascinated with the flat plains of the Texas Gulf Coast Region as I am with this acid-etched landscape?

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When was the last time you used a laundromat? For me it would be March 1998 just after moving to Paris and before getting the appliances installed in the apartment we rented there.

Now, with a washer and dryer in the house, laundry is a routine thing that can be done in and around other tasks. But for many, a trip to the laundromat is their routine, with all the attendant hassles.

Now, take it out to rural areas in distant countries where even mains electricity is a luxury and laundry takes on a whole new challenge.

Take the people in this photo, for example, all washing clothes in the Li River, with the beautiful karst limestone hills all around them. I wonder, if you have to wash your clothes in the river, if you get to appreciate the beauty of the landscape all around you?

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The cormorant fisherman is a feature of the Li River and other rivers near Guilin in China.

We cruised by this cormorant fisherman while he and his bird were taking a break. Once again we see the bamboo raft similar to that used by the fan salesman and the river weed harvester.

These fishermen tie a string around the neck of the bird to constrain it. When the cormorant dives into the water to catch a fish, it swallows the fish but cant get the fish past the constriction formed by the string.

The fisherman marks the cormorant regurgitate the fish into the basket on the raft and sends the bird off for another fish.

This cycle is repeated until the fisherman has caught what he needs. He then unties the string and allows the bird to catch and this time swallow his catch.

I can’t tell if the bird is tethered to the raft or fisherman but I suspect it is. perhaps at the end of the string on the pole the fisherman is holding.

Many cormorant fishermen employ more than one bird to up their productivity.

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