Posts Tagged ‘Hami’


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


I cycled along the freeway in the backblocks of China thinking – this is a world full of beautiful people. People caring for their families and enjoying daily life. People with their hopes, dreams and worries.

Refreshment

Refreshment

Today I used my Chinese in a deep philosophical discussion about life and happiness. Life and happiness is the same the world over. I am an example of the human condition, and I am alive today, sharing this planet with others. I hope in the future, another generation of people can live these experiences, and carry on the human condition. It is a beautiful thing – the human experience – and I am honoured to be part of it today and now.

My other thoughts today as I struggled against the fierce wind were how developed China is. All the freeways are brand new and amazing engineering feats. The cities are springing up out of nothing, but are mostly already there. New, snazzy cars zoom along the freeways and in the cities. This is not an America wannabe. It is wealthy already. It is not like America, and it doesn’t wannabe.

The cycling was slow going today against the wind. We called it a day at the big town of Hami.