Day 119 612 days to go. Distance: today 118km total 7530km.
Its 9.00pm Wednesday 28/3/2012 Yongnian. We have had such a wonderful day. If the locals keep this up my partner and I and our two pooches may just have to move here. Well not really I do love our home but at the risk of repeating myself, I am loving China. It’s been a later finish today and I’ve just enjoyed my end of day coffee looking at the photos from the day while the spot message sends. Rube and I are all smiles looking back at the day’s events. Rubes tucked in bed in the foyer of the hotel getting so much attention because and rightly so she’s awesome!! And I’m now finally posting to you fine folk after doing some domestics. The hotel we’re at is quite flash but well priced for a big dot city at 100 yen ($16). It has a computer which is always a bonus for posting in comfort. Ive taken advantage of the shmicky services and done some washing and cleaned my flask and water bottle using vinager as recommended by Mum (it worked a treat Mops x). Enough of the routine stuff and back to the day!!!!
The weather was beautiful yet again but I hear there’s rain in Beijing so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. It was 20 odd kms into Anyang for starters. Unfortunately the ring roads were a maize made worse by the road works and detours. It didn’t take me long to get us quite lost and quite stuck trying to pick up the 107 which had disappeared. As it turned out the directions we got from the locals took us off the ring roads and into Anyan CBD. The city however is quite grand and hosts the National Museum for Chinese Writing which I snapped a picky out front. We were however on ‘no idea’ road and I had just stopped yet again for a hand when a young man and woman approached me and said in English, ‘Can we help you?’ I could have hugged them. ‘Yes you can and you speak English bonus!!’ ‘No no no my English is poor.’ But right about then I thought her English the best and started to explain our very lost delemma. Her name was Liang Xu and his Tian Yuan. Liang Xu called a friend, Tian Yuan from the bank they worked at who joined the party minutes later. Tian Yuan is an English teacher as a second job. Fabulous!!!!!!!
They debated about the best way to go and a lady from the next door mechanics came over and sorted them out. She was great very tough but a colourful smile and all over her way around. I was getting ready to head off and Tian Yuan invited me to join them for lunch, ‘We would like to shout you a traditional meal from this area. Prease join us for lunch?’ “How generous of you, yes that would be great!!’ So I parked Rube and their Bank and we jumped into a taxi and headed somewhere local. It was a bustling restaurant filled with lunctime diners. They only served this one dish. Liang Xu made a ‘baaaa’ sheep noise to tell me we were having mutton. I like this girl’s style!!! Sheep have appeared just today with their shepards on the roadisde grazing, so that explains it. The dish was a bowl of large ribbon noodles, mutton pieces, greens and a clear fine noodle made from potato. It’s served with a bulb of braised garlic and coriander. God only knows what I smell like tonight because I ate the whole bulb – it so perfectly complimented the tastes. You also garnish the dish with the thick brown sweet vinagar like what I had in Wuhan. It’s probably more like a balsamic and I could drink it. Again it topped off the flavours.
We dined and chatted about their work and our trip and exchanged email addresses. They use a program here called QQ instead of skype to chat so I have to look further into that. They were all 24 years old and so happy to be practicing their English. Liang Xu and Tian Yuan have not spoken English since school and loved being able to practice again. Lunch time conversation was pretty much about them enjoying and remembering words. They used their internet access on their phones to translate when needed and it was fun to share their enthusiasm. After lunch we headed back to their work and Tian Yuan said he would take us to the ring road that joined the 107. Another girl from the bank doubled him on her moped cycle and we went through all the back streets on a ‘short cut’ that took forever.
I loved every moment riding along taking in the sights of urban life. I think they were making the most of taxying us out during work time J I managed to snap some pickies on route and at the junction before exchanging goodbyes and thankyous. This got us back on track and in about 10km we were again on the 107 heading to the next major town called Handan. About 10kms out of town this fella pulled alongside us driving a moped truck and said hello. I joked and went to grab the back of his truck as a gesture for him to pull us along. And he let us !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we got a freebie piggy back and it was totally fun. He turned up his radio and seemed to enjoy the novelty and attention he got from passerbyers. Rube wanted me to take a picky but I couldn’t manage it unfortunately it so we just enjoyed the ride and have the fun memory. Handon was way easier to nav through with the help of taxi men who I have found recently over the days as colorful as moped men and just as obliging and spot on with their pointers. So we cycled the last 30 odd kms to Yongnian over dusk and found this hotel hopeefully not to far from where we can pick up the 107 again towards Xingtai in the morning. But that’s tomorrow and for now we’re happy and savouring the day. Plus we still managed to do our allocated kms with all the carbs from lunch Im guessing.
I emailed the hotel where we’re staying at in Beijing to let the manager know I may be arriving early if the weather holds up the way it has. He’s all booked up but is going to try find us a dorm style accomodation if needed. How lovely is that. He’s also given us some tips on how to nav into Beijing and to the District where the hotel is so at least I have some idea which chunk of the city to head towards. One day at a time and that’s days down the track albeit not so far now. We passed the under 500km marker today and had our break sitting on the post. These two old gents came over from somewhere and were such characters. They were literally all thumbs up that we were cycling to Beijing and doing it solo and were soo impressed with Rube and her Chinese flag. They patted our backs and gave us one last thumbs up. I wish now I had got a photo but didn’t think to at the time bugger!! So that’s been us for the day that’s been awesome and really cool to share with you tonight from our very comfy hotel room. I must say however Im a bit tidey wides so its time for zzz’s. Talk soon x
You’ve given us such memories
to blister pack and pop
whenever I may need heads up
to stick with ‘keep it simple.’
You’ve given us such memories
of little things so big.
It’s in the simple everyday
lost socks and smiles are found.