Posts Tagged ‘Menglun’


The old road on the map got even wigglier and steeper than yesterday. Today I didn’t see the cycling forbidden signs, and cycled smoothly up and downhill on the new road that rarely was on land – either on massive stilts above the valley, or in carbon monoxide tunnels. I saved about 50km,10000 kcal and one day of cycling.

Banana plantation

Banana plantation

Motorbikes were also forbidden, which didn’t deter anyone. I must have cycled past at least a dozen policemen. The road was OK to cycle on.
The valleys were very steep and absolutely dense in the greenest of green foliage. Looking down from my lofty perch on a bridge, the jungle below reigned supreme. I could not help but think how hard it would have been cycling here, on the old road.

Misty mountains

Misty mountains

Mengla is the last sizable town in China. Laos – here I come!


While curving my way up and down and around and around, I wondered what the fractal dimension was of this road. I wondered this when regarded as projected onto a 2-dimensional space (like a map), or when in its true 3-d space. In 2 dimensions, taking a scaling factor ε=1/3, and using the formula

I think the fractal dimension is the same as the Koch Curve – namely 1.2619.

Equally nerdy, I remembered the puzzle – if you have 100km to go, you can go 50km, and then have 50 to go. Then, if you go 25, you have 25 to go. Then, going 12.5, you have 12.5 to go. If you continue halving the distance travelled, you never reach the 100km. This is how I felt, winding my way in ever tighter curves, towards the Laos border. All the while either climbing or falling on the steepest of steep slopes. Its beautiful, but tomorrow I’m taking the main road with long, badly ventilated tunnels. I’ve had it with hills.

The valley

The valley

It's hilly

It’s hilly

It's hilly

It’s hilly

It's hilly

It’s hilly