Bike-Ride to Australia 21st-January 2012

Bike-Ride to Australia Saturday 21st-January 2012 Na Mo to Pakmong. 83 miles. How strange! When I was in China, I couldn’t find a single English speaking Chinese. But today I had two carloads of them! I’d just got to the top of another big hill (oh yeah, the mountains are back!) and had stopped to take a look, or rather a rest! When two 4x4s pulled up and out jumped some Chinese tourists (which I later found out) who preceded to take pictures of the view. That was until they spotted me! They then forgot about taking photos of the scenery and were more interested in photographing me and my bike! It turned out that they were on a road trip from Shanghai to Thailand, and as I said earlier, they all spoke perfect English!

I bumped into a couple of cyclists who were from Ireland. It was late afternoon, and I asked them if they had passed any guesthouses, thinking that I’d stop soon. Unfortunately, the only one that they had seen was the one they’d stayed in last night, which was about 50km ago! And there was a 20km climb between here and there!

Houses on stilts
The buildings are a lot different here

I’d already passed a guesthouse about 5km back and wondered at the time whether I should stop or not! I now wondered if I should turn around. But that goes against the grain and was never going to happen! After talking to the Irish couple for a while, I said goodbye and decided to push on. At least they didn’t have far to go to their guesthouse!

It’s Going To Be A Long Evening

I set off in the hope that the Irish couple were wrong and I’d find another guesthouse sooner than they had said. Disappointingly the other cyclists were right. There wasn’t anything else! It wasn’t long before it started to get dark. But my reckoning, it had got really dark just as I’d reached the top of the 20km climb. But at least now, it was downhill all the way to the guesthouse.

It turned out that the downhill was harder than the uphill in some respects! There was no asphalt, and It was more like a dirt track, with potholes everywhere! And in the dark, it was pretty treacherous! When a car or rather a 4×4 (that’s what everybody seems to drive, and I can see why!) would come past, apart from their headlights dazzling me! They would also throw up a cloud of dust, making it impossible to see!

I eventually made it to the guesthouse at about 9.30, and what a welcome sight it was! There was also a restaurant attached that served beer! That was the first thing I had before going up to my room, a nice cold beer. I think I’d deserved it today! Apparently, two years ago, the roads were all asphalt and in good condition. That’s no consolation to me now!

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