Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Zhaoqing - Mengshan. Confucius says: “Don't use a cannon to kill a mosquito.”

For the first few days in China I was quite conservative, staying in hotels and rarely riding at night. But as I got to know the country and its inhabitants I began to take more risks. I stayed in my first hotel in Deqing for sky high prices (AUD $26). The following night I rode until sunset and had covered over 110km. I was still 30km away from where I was aiming for that night, so I decided to call it a night and pulled over and found a nice little spot to camp, 50 metres off the road in the mountains. I guessed logging was a primary industry in the area because logging trucks woke me up intermittently throughout the night. I put the capabilities of my tent to the test because just as I set up a storm set in and it rained through the night. It was $80 well spent, nothing was wet except for my smelly riding clothes, which also spent the next couple of days drying out on my bike rack.

By the time I made it to Mengshan I was exhaused and spent an entire day hauled up in my hotel room - a string of 100km days and some climbing and home sickness had taken its toll on me. It was then that I was questioning the very purpose of my trip...who else was gaining from my experience aside from me...and was I even gaining from my experience? My home sickness was short lived and by the time I reached Yangshuo I was fully commited to my trip.

A typical road in Guangdong province

My overpriced hotel

A little waterfall I stumbled upon while taking a break

Lunch break

Riding near Wuzhou

Home for the rainy night

I lived off noodles for several weeks

A road accident I happened upon. I didn't see anyone injured.

Mengshan at night

China Day 2: Zhaoqing to Deqing
Distance: 100.1 km
Average speed: 17.0 km/hr
Max speed: 40.4 km/hr
Total ascent: 630 m
Total descent: 650 m

China Day 3: Deqing to near Taipingzhen
Distance: 135.2 km
Average speed: 15.1 km/hr
Max speed: 50.1 km/hr
Total ascent: 1612 m
Total descent: 1372 m

China Day 4: Near Taipingzhen to Mengshan
Distance: 117.0 km
Average speed: 13.2km/hr
Max speed: 49.6 km/hr
Total ascent: 1395 m
Total descent: 1542 m

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