Day 237. 85km. Zhenyuan – De’an

Posted: January 4, 2016 in China, Cycling
Tags: , , ,

An imaginary line circles the globe at 23.43724 degrees north – where the sun reaches directly overhead on mid-summer day. I crossed this line today, and am now officially in the tropics.

On the Tropic of Cancer

On the Tropic of Cancer

I am on the couch out the front of the little shop in the tiny village. The sun is shining brightly, and I sit in the shade, devouring my ice-creams. Inside, in the gloom, the television is running – a daytime soap – in Chinese. The drama and suspense oozes from the television as the breathless woman’s voice pleads with her handsome lover. The music adds to the suspense, as I listen from outside. The little old woman who sold me the ice-creams watches inside with bated breath. Outside, the village is peaceful. The sun is all-powerful. Nothing moves. Then, a motorbike pulls up. The boy buys some cigarettes and then rides off into the glare. I study the map.
The woman taps me on the shoulder. She hands me a big chunk of gingerbread cake. She smiles and nods as I thank her with my eyes. In her eyes I see her inner peace and her kindness. ‘Good on ya, lad. This is for you!’

The up-and-down cycling was interspersed with stops in the villages. One village was fruit gorging time. A few dragon fruit, pears, apples and grapes. One village was ice-creams. One village was real food. It is slow going – it is never flat, and often quite steep. It is beautiful, though, cycling through this mountainous, tropical landscape.

The morning mist lifts

The morning mist lifts



The valley

The valley

  1. giannis says:

    The whole planet suffers from the same plague – television. The difference is that in the east the psychological manipulation is more primitive and violent yet, while in the west more sofisticated. The old woman being a good example. 😉

    • Psychological manipulation happens in many ways. The woman seemed to be in touch with herself though. 🙂

      • giannis says:

        Absolutely right, and i have noticed the same in easterners, their behavioural stability is one more thing that you love, i was only refering to the difference in the immediate appeal of television.

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Food and love need no language. 🙂

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