Day 104 886 days to go. Distance today 128km total 6344km. It’s 9.30pm Tuesday 13/3/2012 Changsha.
We had shadows all day today albeit a bit hazy but I rode with a t-shift and light wind vest yay. It was such a light and liberating feeling not having the layers on. I could move freely and enjoyed the ride big. Rube had a ball and traveling beautifully clever girl. I’m really sore from the hike so it was good to move today and do some decent kms to shake out the grizzly legs. Rube had a good giggle every time I got on an off today moaning like an old man. We were seen off this morning by the shop lady. She’s a grover.
Last night when i got back from the Internet cafe the place was in darkness and no one home to let me in. So I Asian squatted outside happy to people watched to pass the time. This lad who lives next door noticed me and came over saying something very interesting I’m sure then disappeared for a bit. He reappeared with the shop lady who had been out dancing. What a darling. She had all the moves and was showing me her steps humming away still on a dancing high. We did half the kms before stopping for lunch at this speck of a town that had a cafe packed. I had no idea how to order so went up to the lady who was in a stir-fry frenzy and gestured if I could order some rice ad stirfry. She said allot of something to me then was clearly waiting for an answer. I paused and with an idiot grin I’m sure said yes in my best Chinese but clearly not having a clue what I was agreeing to. She burst out laughing totally getting it and gestured for me to take and seat and she’d sort it. And she did super yum.
Meanwhile the local folk dining there took over my maps after checking rube out and thought the whole ordeal was awesome. They gave me super thumbs up and pawed over the route and distances to Beijing. It was really fun and even snuck in some group shots yay. Full belly and good time later we headed for the afternoon session. I meant to stay outside of Changsha but was loving the ride so much got too close to the metro area and missed our chance for a roadside cheapy. Coming into town I stopped and asked a fella where best to find a hotel and he called a friend to help translate. We sorted out what I was after and he lead us in his car to the hotel. While we were by roadside another man cycled past on a giant mt bike with all the gear and we exchanged big smiles and hellos.
Back fo the hotel man, before heading he ran into a shop and bought me a 2 liter bottle of Pepsi what a sweetie. Unfortunately the hotel was some international 5 star deal so I waved him off with lots of thankyous and when he was out of sight left to find another option. Some kms down the road here’s the giant mt bike man stopped texting on his phone. Awesome!!! I showed him the lonely Planet with the name and address of a hostel. He google mapped it and wanted to explain the directions but couldn’t speak English. This lady walked past right about now and spotted us when her son squealed out at ruby. He called her over and she just happened to be a local English teacher. Can you believe it!!!! She thought there was a reasonably priced hotel nearby so we walked there chatting all the while. She was so lovely. Her little man is 3 and goes to kindy and his name is jerry after Tom and jerry because he was born the year of the mouse. I asked her about Chinese having 2 names and she said that they have a traditional name then usually a Nickname or shorter easier version. Jerry’s traditional name was far more longer and he’s called jerry for short.
At the hotel she asked after the cheapest room which still Cost $25 but it was dark by this stage and I had has such a fun time talking and walking there I just paid the amount and enjoying space tonight. The hostel was $15 anyway so the convenience and experience of getting here was worth $10. I’ve stolen all the toiletries, done some washing, pawed some maps and having a chilled night of it. They have wifi down in the foyer so I may able to have a Skype catchup with the folks when I check emails soon. At least I can email this onto my sister on the day for a change. Time for a late dinner and bed. Talk soon x