Day 107 883 days to go. Distance: today 93km total 5637km. It’s 5.40pm Friday 16/3/2012 Changde. Yay nailed the timing today and am staying at a Truckee stop just outside of town. 30 yen later very happy with myself. It was a total fluke actually. I needed to go to the loo and spotted the petrol station attached. When I came out this lady from the cafe came over to say hello very interested in Rube and of course and wanting to have a chat. She’s a groover with blonde streaks in her otherwise black hair. She asked if I wanted something to eat then it occurred to me it may have a hotel attached. There were heaps of trucks with their drivers cleaning off the days travel. She gestured yes and 30 yen. Sold!!! I had Rube unpacked and was checked in 5 minutes later. It was 5pm so I had heaps of time to give the girl some attention. I forgot to oil her bits yesterday after her wash so she was a bit grizzly today. Rube was priority one and when done she blew me a big raspberry for forgetting but nothing serious. I’ve earnt lots of brownie points skipping the bus trips so were still bugs. Today was a hilly and chilly ride no rain but it kept the breaks short and sweet. We bought some tofu and a new type of bread from a stall, then bailed the moped men up for directions into Changde. As it turns out we stayed on the city outskirts last night way more pleasant then metro. The men got us on the initial right road but it took heaps of checking to get us back onto the 319. There were lots of moped men about so we were in good hands. It amazing how only 10km out of the city its all rural life again. They seem oblivious to the city craziness in comparison getting on with their simple day to day. This is mostly agricultural with rice, strawberries, citrus, greens and root vegetables the main produce. They finely shred a white vegetable that looks allot like large sweet potato and are drying it on the roadside like we saw in south east Asia. There are other industries like bamboo preparations, limestone sculpture, furniture making, wood cutting. There are also trades like hairdressers, seamstresses, butchers. Yesterday was a great example of it with hession shops set up in the streets and workers busy at their trade or selling their produce. I passed butchers today that had skinned dog meat for sale. But that’s Chinese life. In ,Wild China’ they say that folk here eat anything with legs except tables and anything with wings except planes. Seeing it first hand is a reality check to be sure. Im sitting in the cafe currently and there’s a table of Truckees opposite making the best noi9se all color and animation. It’s the best entertainment when I can sneak a glimpse over to watch their shenanigans. They’re drinking a clear spirit and glasses of hot water over dinner and getting more merry. We had out lunch break in front of an old farm shack that didn’t look in use. Perfect possy out of the weather. I had my tofu and bread on board so I tucked myself under the awning. Pretty soon this woman appeared and gave me the biggest Chinese mouthful who knows what about, I gave her a big smile and wave back. The funniest thing was that she stopped mouthing off and waved back then caught herself and her moment of weakness and walked off giving it to me again. It was so funny. The bread is like a sour dough but small rounds and delicious. Super cheap it was a good find and will be a staple while about. Also in the markets are Cherrie tomatoes that are to die for. I have a little bag of salt of board and risk turning into a Cherrie tomato soon with the rate of consumption. So back to this arv. I oiled my girl and adjusted her cables with an audience of Truckees watching my bike mechanics. I had the Ipod out and open at helpful hints so I didn’t do too much damage. This was a good thing as the men were more interested in the Ipod than what I was doing so it took the heat off. I promised her today a full service once we are in Beijing in 19 sleeps/ Girl all done it was time for me. The best thing about Truckee stops other than the price is that they love their hot water. It come out of a hose at a rapid rate and its yummy. So now we’re both polished up even did the eyebrows and sitting in the cafe amongst the locals love love love it. The cafe lady introduced me to her daughter who’s 28 not married and works with her mum here. She’s really sweet and totally interested in my kit. I showed her my passport and she loved the visa stamps. This got the attention of the Truckees so pretty soon they’re passing round my passport photo laughing at it. That’s fair enough its dodge!! That’s me for the night surrounded by the best atmosphere. The smells being served are intoxicating or it the fumes from the next table. So I’m going to round it off for now and order some dinner. I’m treating myself. Well actually it just gives me a legitimate excuse to sit here longer. Talk soon x.