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Andrew and Godspeed on the Western Sichuan Road to Danba

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Copyright © Andy, 2007

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"TOBY - Destroyer of Toilets !"

Day 169, 16th November
Beijing - Liulihezhen

Toby and the Destroyed Bog!
Toby and the Destroyed Bog!
Talk about Gandhi's Revenge! It's not everyone who can proudly boast that they destroyed a Chinese toilet with one gut-wrenching powerful bum-blast!

It was time to leave today. It’s been a great time here in Beijing, more wilder than I ever expected, and the hospitality of the people has been amazing. We haven’t been arrested on our bikes yet - but we had a brainstorming session in the group and come up with the following answer to our good fortune.

1. China has just been admitted into the WTO and needs respect from foreigners.

2. The Olympic Games will be held here in 2008, and China needs further respect.

As a result of these two major factors, we reckon that all checkpoint officers, police, and military types have been given the order from up on high to “Smile at the big-noses and be as helpful as possible”.

The group was now six: Me, Rory, Toby, Scott, and the 2 newcomers - Stephane and Nick. Waley was there and sad to see us go, especially Scott who had been given a special farewell gift from her? We had a last beer with Waley, took some photos, and headed south for the first time as a group of six. We were going to leave the freezing temperatures behind us now, every day we would head southwards to Hong Kong, and hopefully it would get a little more warmer each day - well, that’s the theory!

Show me where he lives
"Show me where he lives"
Me kindly informing the home-owner where Brighton is located in the world. And the nearest 'Triad' compensation-claims operative.

A mile from the hostel, Toby got the first puncture! A short while later we were on the busy cycle-lanes out of the city and it was just after midday. The suburbs went on for 20 miles, we had a café stop and rode another 10 miles till the sun started setting. The pollution today had been appalling with a visibility down to 100yds. You could feel the burning of fumes in your eyes and lungs. We searched and found a place to camp, a dis-used pit which had been partially cultivated. There were lots of dead corn fronds that kept us well hidden from prying eyes.

Total Miles: 8242.39 Todays Miles: 31.09 Average speed: 11.3 Time on bike: 2:43

Day 170, 17th November
Liulihezhen - Baoding

It was a surprisingly cold night and we woke to a thick frost on the ground and the tents, it was warm yesterday? The tents never dried out in the morning sun which rose quickly. We set out along busy roads and found a cheap place to sit and have breakfast. I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s cheaper and easier to eat out than it is to cook stuff for yourself.

Back alleys of a One-Horse-Town
Back alleys of a One-Horse-Town
We were led through straw covered alleys to a house where we could pitch our tents for the night.

We followed route number 107 all day for 50 miles until a café stop at an unknown town. The waitress invited us to camp at her place, not far away, Stephane had taken a liking for her. We followed her off the main street down some back-alleys strewn with straw to the back gate of a house. We ended up in a courtyard, a little basic with a brick toilet in the corner, everything appeared to be made from bricks stuck together with mud. The girls name was He Miao, and she invited us to pitch our free-standing tents in buildings used for machinery, I think. When her parents turned up a feast was put on for us which we never expected. We were introduced to the whole family who came around to the house one by one, and were made to feel at home there. After a night of eating and drinking strange alcoholic beverages, it came time to crash out.

The Gang in Beijing
The Gang in Beijing
Just before heading south we got this pic with the poster the uni students did for us.

The evening was a strange one. Firstly, He Miao began prowling around the tents and wanting to come inside. Although we were drunk, I think we all managed to decline the obvious offers of comfort - besides, she was very young. After this I awoke to the sound of vomiting and wretching, I think it was Scott? Then around midnight I heard Toby dash out of his tent and across the yard, then his guts exploded. All He Miao’s thoughts of a romantic evening vanished in that one thunderous gut-wrenching moment I reckon. This was to go on for another hour or so…. Toby waking up, saying “Oh fuck”! then making the ten-yard-dash to the brick shit-house. Until - an almighty crashing of bricks was heard! The bugger had destroyed the bog! Talk about Gandhi’s Revenge! Can you imagine - you invited some westerners to stay in your house in your little village, and one of the bastards says “Thank you for your hospitality” by destroying your toilet with one almighty fart! Welcome to the team Stephane and Nick - let’s see if you can top that!

Total Miles: 8294.18 Todays Miles: 51.28 Average speed: 12.9 Time on bike: 51.2.

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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:

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