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If You Can’t Beat Them…..

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Gallery here and slideshow here.

Day 6 – 73k – To Lianshan

An unusual start to the day as we were bussed out of town for a bit and then rode for a couple of hours through some pristine country and then back on the bus to avoid some bad sections of highway before we stopped to visit a Yao minority village all setup for the tourists and then followed by another picnic lunch.  From the village, we had to ride about 50 metres uphill followed by 14k downhill on great roads before we ended up in Lianshan for the night.  Very little pain for much gain; now that’s my type of bike riding!  Monumental day as I finally found a jar of coffee in a shop.  Four days without caffeine. Grrr!

Day 7 – 83k – To Zhongshan

Today’s drama was riding through a pitch black tunnel for about 300 metres which was somewhat scary.  The bus was supposed to follow us in with it’s lights on but stuffed up and ended up leading us in which proved useless.  It’s quite a sensation riding in total darkness with 19 other cyclists around you and not seeing a thing.  Vertigo becomes a problem too and trying to stay upright takes a lot of effort.  MP managed to bang into the wall of the tunnel but didn’t fall, thank goodness, and we were all relived to see daylight again.  We had another long downhill before we were bussed the last hour into another busy town and to our nice hotel room on the 10th floor overlooking the town square which was buzzing with markets, people dancing and everyone out having a great time.  Of course, we joined in and provided the locals with more amusement.

Day 8 – 80k – To Yangshuo

We were getting tired of rice porridge and noodles for breakfast but you don’t have much option to fuel up for the day.  We drove out of town for an hour before riding into a stiff headwind through rice paddies surrounded by some beautiful karst country.  Lunch was in a very dodgy restaurant as we watched them washing the dishes under a cold outside tap but our plates were too hot to touch when they arrived so I guess there are different hygiene standards for locals and the big noses.  A couple more hours of riding as we approached Yangshuo and saw another long tunnel approaching but we veered off to the right into town and saw our first Westerners in 10 days.  Another nice, modern hotel and we were amazed to find two showers in the bathroom which a couple of dirty, sweaty bodies were soon using.

We all ventured into town which caters to the tourists big time with it’s markets and restaurants and we knew we were back in “civilisation” when we saw a KFC and Maccas.  Vincent took us to a restaurant that served western food such as pizzas, schnitzels, nachos, burgers and chips etc and told us we could order what we liked.  So what did five of us select; Lemon chicken, sweet and sour pork and fried rice! 

We had become truly native!

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  1. AZ
    November 13, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Seriously, all that equipment and nobody brought flashlights? I carry a small flashlight in my purse at all times, and it came in very handy when I went to a high school reunion, they provided porta potties for a night function, but they didn’t have lights in them. So I pull out my trusty flashlight and could inspect and reject at will. Riding a bike in total darkness is scary, but there is nothing more terrifying than a pitch black porta potty because let’s face it a man’s aim is hit and miss in broad daylight!

    What, do men stand up to pee?? Now you tell me! And I was just getting used to cocking my leg up against a tree.

    I carried a torch but it was in my bag on that damn bus in front of us. How was I to know we would be going through dark and scary places. Actually, there would be nothing more scary than a Chinese Porta Potty.

  2. November 13, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Love the picture of those lumpy karsts, what an amazing backdrop to that town. I’ve never ridden a bike in the dark, in fact I hardly ever ride a bike in the daylight now that mine has been stolen leaving me bikeless.

    We’ve just bought 2 new hybrids and are keeping our mountain bikes so if you ever visit, we have one for you.

  3. Red Dragon
    November 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Lovely shot of the bridge! Its amazing how quickly you go native. I know when I finally go back to Oz, the food is going to seem very boring (and very bloody expensive!), so who knows maybe I should go native permanently. Keep up the great posts, I now feel as though I have done a good part of the trip. Cheers

    You could feed a family of 5 on what we’d pay at home for just one! I was a bit clueless on what some of the meals were but the smells and taste were fantastic. Have you had these yet?

    • Anonymous
      November 15, 2010 at 12:08 am

      What are they? Looks scary.

      No idea. Big worms of some sort.

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