Friday, 2 October 2009
CROSSING TO CHINA
Immediately we had a pleasant surprise! After the poor roads we’d been on for the previous few days it was nice to go the last 20 k’s to the border on a new Chinese-built road. When we got to the new modern Chinese border post I felt a bit self-conscious amonst the few luxury-bus passengers in my old garb (toes sticking out of my shoes, shirt ripped down the back, and smelling like a rat). I wished that the marble-tiled hall was more crowded so that I wouldn’t be so conspicuous. From the border we were welcomed into China and onto the new highway – a series of tunnels and high bridges, spanning valleys and zooting through hills. Some of the tunnels were a few k’s long with dark sections in the middle (hectic on a bicycle without headlights). Along the road we met Swiss cyclist, Christoph, who had more luggage than me (he even had a trailer). On our approach to the city of Jinghong (on the Mekong river, again) we met 2 more cyclists coming the opposite way – Kathy and Sandro, who’ve been cycling all the way from their home in Austria, and were on their way to Singapore. Right now I’m taking a rest in Jinghong, and am enjoying the local quisine. Leana is staying elsewhere in the city (one needs breating space now and then), Distances cycled since Laos have been:- Mengla 72 km; Menglun 76 km; and Jinghong 78 km. Total since CT is 46 927 km.