China 2012: cycling with Chinese students

by Bicycle Junkies

On our way to the Tibetan plateau we should have brought some earplugs! Oh, the Chinese blow their horns as many time as they breath! Weather it means ‘get out of here’ or ‘hi there stranger’ I’m not sure, but for the sake of it I’ll just move…

Clouds are hanging low and there’s a slight drizzle as we cycle together with a group of Chinese students towards the Erlang Shan Mountain Pass. We have some noodle soup for lunch in Tianquan and want to stay in a hotel in Zishi, but we just don’t understand these Chinese signs and we must have missed it, but as we understand the students correctly, the hotels should be in the next village. We follow the group, but after 80 kilometers we start to doubt…
It’s starting to get dark now and the traffic is horendous, plus the Chinese are doing a lot of roadwork and only one lane is available. Not that they care, they just use this lane no matter wich direction they go.. In the dark it’s difficult to see the potholes too and we are still feeling the jetlag. We’re getting tired, climbing to 1400 meters… Then one of the Chinese shouts: “We made it!” Thank god, we made it.., after 103 kilometers! Behind the small eateries are apparently rooms to stay. We don’t care, we just want food and sleep!

A couple of these Chinese invite us to join them for dinner, we are actually glad they ask us, because we don’t understand a word (or rather sign) of the menu! Within seconds the whole table if full of food, which we all share together. The room costs about 1,20 euro, but that includes peeing and washing in the pigs stable..

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