Posts Tagged ‘Hongyuan’


The world is a different place in the sun. The yurt filled valley was beautiful, bordered by low rolling hills, a wide meandering river in its centre. Then, over a small pass, and I find myself cycling down through a green, forested valley, sun and wind at my back.

The plains in the sun

The plains in the sun

It was many hours on the bike, trying to get through some kilometres (in an attempt to get to Shangri La to extend my visa). Beautiful views. Here are some photos.

Waiting for the dumplings

Waiting for the dumplings

The high plains

The high plains

The watershed

The watershed

The watershed

The watershed

The river going down

The river going down


‘This is what it is all about’ I thought hurtling along in the sun on the flat smooth road, watching the high mountain plains and the Yellow River roll by. The absolute misery of the morning had turned with food in my belly and the sun on my back. The misery had now become adventure. I have been cycling for one year today and I am on the Tibetan Plateau. How awesome is that?

The plains

The plains

This morning sucked. I had another 16km to go to make it from my abandoned hut to the village where I wanted to have a late breakfast. The road can’t get any worse, I thought. Wrong. It was a mud bath plied by big trucks, ploughing through the slush. And the road climbed – always in the deepest slush. Bumping down a mini-pass I got another flat tyre – 7km out of town. It was raining, there was so much mud wedged between the tyres and the mudguards and brakes, that a tyre repair would have not been easy. I decided to walk. In the village I fixed the tyre, cleaned the bike, and had a horrible lunch of yak with rice. No chance of replenishing my chocolate supplies. This village had nothing that I felt like eating.

The mud

The mud

The roadworks continued, although much less severe. It was usually possible to find some bitumen to ride on, even it if meant weaving around rocks. After 89km, at my 4pm meal break, I was informed by the owner that the roadworks had ended. The sun came out, and the world changed. Fourty-two kilometres to the next town, and I ate up those kilometres to make my daily total almost 100.

P.S. I guess I must admit, the cause of the second flat tyre was as I had a fold of the inner tube inside the tyre. I guess I wasn’t at my best when I fixed the tyre in the abandoned hut.. ☺