Post # 72 Datang

Day 86 994 days to go. Distance: today 120km total # . It’s 8.00pm Friday 24/2/2012 Datang. I’m having fun! Totally working hard for the money honey but having fun doing it. China is already a unique experience and  I’m enjoying getting to know her.  Access to info is a real challenge. Road signs showing towns are in Chinese except for major junctions and there’s lots of kms in between. This means heaps of bothering local folk with directions. With a bit of extra effort I eventually find someone willing and patient to help us out. I can’t pick the type of person best to approach. Men and women, young and old, city and village folk, have all varied from helpful to not. If I had to pock Id say I’m having more luck with older blokes  especially taxi or truck drivers who after having a joke, try to help the damsels. Some people try to help but find it too hard and wave their hand meaning no.  Asking for help is really interesting afterwards but hardwork at the time. It was easy enough finding the right road out of Fangcheng to Qinzhou. I had my first break at a bus station where there were people selling snacks for travelers. I bought 4 eggs, a slab of sticky cake like hot bread, and an apple filled steamed bun for 6 Yen (under $1). I snacked on local cuisine during the day and the rest is for dinner with noodles yum. I got directions into Qinzhou from two fellas sitting on their mopeds at a junction. They were very cheeky and fun and helpful. They went all shy when I took their photo being very cute for two old roughies smelling of beer and cigarettes. After Qinzhou the road divided to an expressway and secondary road. On seeing the state of the road I tried to take the expressway but got pounced on by the toll gate folk. It seems bikes aren’t allowed opsy. Hey can’t blame a girl for trying.  The road was tough going but interesting as it went through farming country and small villages. I took photos to try capture the rural and village feel. They use terracing to farm their rice fields and other crops like corn and greens. I spotted this woman working in the field with her baby on her back under an umbrella.  There were lots of road works and just as many women as men doing the labour. I passed a handful of people carrying eggs in baskets on their bikes and mopeds. I wondered how many eggs survived the trip given the humpy ride. The last 70kms were pretty hilly. Not steep just slow long inclines that added up to a decent 120km day. The scenery was awesome to cycle  with the rural life and green hills. I must say I was pretty happy to arrive here later this afternoon and the end of day coffee tasted pretty good. The woman running the guesthouse is sweet and using her two young daughters to help communicate with me. We weren’t having much luck exchangingd info to check in. She was writing down in Chinese what she was trying to say likethat was going to make a difference. To her credit she stayed patient which was great. I ended up using the key phrases in the lonely planet and this did the trick. After cleaning up Ive checked out the maps again to do a rough plan for the next 43 days.  All going well I should be able to cycle the whole way to Xian and Beijing. I’ve found a cool side road from Yangshuo to Gulin that takes you through the pick of the Li River area and some remote villages. I’m very excited about this part of the trip and keen to experience China’s famous limestone karst area with Rube off the highway and amongst village life. For now but I must feed the brain some calories. Cool day but time for some zzzzzzz. Talk soon x

Published by shecyclesolo

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

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