Thursday, 23 July 2015

GETTING TO THE START

Yes, I have made it into China. All my efforts now are to reach my starting point, but that is easier said than done.
I am now in Lanzhou, pretty much in the NW/centre of the country. It has been some sort of a slog getting here, also involving a 34 hr bumby bus ride, and 41 hrs on a hard seat in a very crowded train (many passengers have only standing tickets).
I broke the journey between bus and train in Kunming, at the nice Cloudland hostel where I have been before. There I had some good company (Dutch travellers Michelle and Lucas, as well as French Nicolas - who found it very amusing that I had gotten lost for 8 hours in the middle of the night from outlying bus station to city hostel). This is the summer holiday season, so all means of transport is booked up. I have cycled a few days NW from Lanzhou up the silk route last year (my 2nd effort to cross China from S to W).
My bike and all my baggage was checked in to the cargo dept, and only arrived 24 hrs after me (no bike, clean clothes, toiletries, guide book, etc. for a day). Not the end of the world. I have decided to take transport all the way West to the Pakistan border (or as close as possible), and then cycle back East here to Lanzhou.
But, there are always surprises on the road, and all transport is booked up for the next week (due to the summer holidays). I have managed to secure an onward train ticket, so now I have a few days to just put my feet up. Then there will be a lot of pedalling going on, because my visa time is running out.
At the hostel where I am staying here in Lanzhou there are no foreigners, mostly Eastern Chinese students on holiday (luckily some of them speak a little English). Lanzhou is a big city on the Yellow River, but there is just about no English spoken as it is not a tourist destination, but mainly a junction on the Silk Route between the West and Eastern China. I will take some pics around this area, so check this site again in the next couple of days.
Distances cycled are mostly between hostels, bus staions, and train stations, so I will add that to the next post when I have done some real cycling. Oh yes, I can now access my blog and e-mail because I have aquired a VPN app, which re-routes my internet connection to avoid the Chinese block on certain websites.

6 comments:

Luke83 said...

Hi Ernest (Honest),

As I said earlier in my email we had a great time in Kunming and loved your stories. It's impressive you do all of your travelling just by bike. Good to read that you've found yourself a VPN and sorry I couldn't help you out. Well pedal to the metal and maybe we meet again someday somewhere on the globe ...

Groeten,

Lucas & Michelle

Joffery Stark said...

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xlr8 gmail said...

Hello Ernest. Mike with the blue van from Massachusetts here. We met at Paradise Farm in February 2015. Glad to see you've hit the road again. Your travels are an inspiration. Looking forward to your next post. Best wishes and happy pedaling.

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Kos en Kuns Kafee said...

Waar is jy nou? Jy nog oukei?

Kos en Kuns Kafee said...
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