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Andy

Andy

 

Copyright © Andy, 2007

Visit Andy's website here for more photos and additional information: http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Bikepacker/

 

Part1 | Part2 | Part3 | Part4 | Part5 | Part6 | Part7 | Part8 | Part9 | Part10 | Part11 | Part12 | Part13 | Part14 | Part15 | Part16 | Part17 | Part18 | Part19 | Part20 | Part21 | Part22 | Part23 | Part24 | Part25 | Part26 | Part27


"Is it becuz I is Black"? (fans of Ali.G will get it)


Day 177, 24th November
Xingxiang - Zhengzhou

What you lookin At
"What you lookin At"?
Arrival in Zhengzhou with black faces from days of cycling the bloody polluted roads from Beijing!

As route 107 was now a motorway, we negotiated Xingxiang via a new by-pass and after took a more rural route south to the Yellow River - our destination, Zhengzhou. The road became very rural as we approached the river with another massive headwind. People used the road as a huge surface to dry out corn on which was unusual to see, us cycling over the corn and trucks passing on top of it too. Then the roads just became confusing and we got lost ending up in a desperate village and witnessing a sight that I really didn’t want to see - a guy nonchalantly ripping the heads off live chickens which he pulled from a sack, and then tossing their bodies onto the road to run about senselessly for a minute or two before expiring! The village had rats running about in their hundreds, and the bridge over the river that we expected to find had been torn down, there were only the ramparts.

The result of this was a 10 mile backtrack to the 107. We eventually reached the bridge along the all too familiar polluted roads. A bridge that was three-miles long and had a police guardpost at the entry to prevent cyclists from using it! Motorbike rickshaws with trailers crowded around us hoping that they could make money out of six western cyclists. We noticed that motorbikes going at less than 20mph were lumbering across the bridge with the familiar and just as slow 3-wheeler trucks. So we thought “Bollocks to it” and snooked in behind a truck and ran the checkpoint. The police noticed as we passed them and yelled at us but we rode on behind the truck, over the bridge, and into the big city of Zhengzhou.

Straw out to dry
Straw out to dry
A blessing for drunken cyclists - at last, a soft landing. They must have known we were coming!

Zhengzhou is the provincial capital of Hunan province with an impressive pagoda in the centre and an equally impressive golden Mao statue opposite the golden-arches of the fast food amazon-rain-forest-destroying concern. With our maps we located the Golden Sunrise Hotel. After days on polluted roads, the toll of which showed on our pollution-caked faces, we were happy to pay the Y33 per person for a bit of luxury for two nights. We had showers, then went for a meal and a few beers in this ‘Bladerunner’ lookalike sort of a strange city.

Total Miles: 8704.03

Chinese Money
Chinese Money
Soon to be replaced with a portrait of Mao, all the notes will look the same.

Todays Miles: 71.28 Average speed: 10.7 Time on bike: 6:37

Day 178, 25th November
Zhengzhou

Didn’t do much today, just a bit of snacky-food shopping, that’s all. We were all feeling a bit rough, kind of tired out and with flu symptoms. So I went back to my room, took a flu pill, then did some washing, stitching, and prepared the maps for the coming journey to Wuhan. Then I slept most of the afternoon. The hotel had one computer terminal and I was able to email Kathryn later. I talked a bit with Stephane later, then I had to crash out because this illness, whatever it is, is getting worse and worse by the hour.

Day 179, 26th November
Zhengzhou

Felt better this morning but it was Toby’s turn to feel like shit today. So after a chat with the group we all decided that it would be better to stay another day and to rest. It was a good job too because later on I began to feel as sick as ever. I had no appetite, and ended up spending the rest of the day in bed recuperating and chatting with Tobes about politics and the world.

Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
From the Golden Sunshine Hotel, the square otside the main station, a noisy but interesting place.

Whatever this illness is, it’s taking its toll on us. We have lost weight and look like shit! The weather isn’t improving, it’s getting colder and we still would like to make Hong Kong for Christmas. We hope the roads south of here are less polluted, our faces are filthy at the end of the days and our lungs - well, we are coughing and spitting to the side of the road every minute while cycling, I rather disgustingly call it, “Greening the Environment”. Yes, yuch.

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Continued here...

Part1 | Part2 | Part3 | Part4 | Part5 | Part6 | Part7 | Part8 | Part9 | Part10 | Part11 | Part12 | Part13 | Part14 | Part15 | Part16 | Part17 | Part18 | Part19 | Part20 | Part21 | Part22 | Part23 | Part24 | Part25 | Part26 | Part27


Visit Andy's website here for more photos and additional information:http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Bikepacker/

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