Day 193. 97km. Hami – Middle of the desert

Posted: November 21, 2015 in China, Cycling
Tags: , , , ,

The desert is vast, rocky and barren, but much has been tamed. For much of the time, the road continues through endless vineyards and agricultural land. Then, when the village and civilization ends, the desert starts abruptly. In a dry creek bed, under the stars we lie, gazing at the heavens.

The stars

The stars

Crossing the back-blocks of China takes time. The roads are good and the kilometres pass (quickly or slower depending on the wind). There are many many kilometres to pass, and I count them down. When I entered China there were over 4000km to the start of the freeway. Now there are under 3000. The road is not busy, and we have the wide emergency lane all to ourselves. We stop every 20-30km for the regular fill of ice-tea and bingjiling (ice-cream). Breakfast, lunch and dinner is the same in China, and so I eat it when we stop. I have accepted my craving for cereal in the morning will remain unfulfilled.

Today we had a picnic lunch on a tree-lined lane between the vineyards.

At our lunch spot

At our lunch spot

And dinner just before heading off into the desert to camp.

Dinner stop

Dinner stop

The desert

The desert

Evening

Evening

My humble abode

My humble abode

Comments
  1. Alessandro says:

    excellent progress Matthew,
    just a curiosity on my part: all the mechanical parts of your trusty steed have been holding up OK?
    I seem to remember you mentioning changing the chain once, and I remember it was a toothed kind of “special” chain, so fixing it would be rather difficult. Did you carry spare parts or did did local mechanics do their magic?
    And that enclosed cog-gear shifter worked through all the Kms, with dust and mud without a hiccup?
    I suppose so, and being enclosed in its own casing is probably a good defense against such perils. In the other hand, should if need any maintenance, it would probably require rather specialized tools and equipment.
    Just wondering.

    Ciao – keep up the good work.

    • Hi there.
      The ‘chain’ broke after exactly 20000km. You can see it in the video. The blog entry on that is still a few months away. I had a spare and tried to replace it myself but the screw to open the frame was stuck. The people at the bike shop were able to unscrew it (using lubricant) and i replaced it myself.
      The Rohloff gears are fine. They are well known for never breaking and have been well tried and tested in trips like this.

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Love the shot of the sky at night!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s