Posts Tagged ‘Middle of the desert’


Hitler got the thumbs up. My improving Chinese was used to explain the contrary. My wallet was shamelessly investigated for foreign currency. We acquired another cyclist. All on the way to Xinxinxia.

En route

En route

Why is Hitler so popular so far from Germany? Where are you from? Germany? Hitler! And then the thumbs up. I heard that in the stans, and now in China. Is that the only thing they know about Germany? I used my ever-improving Chinese to explain why I did not like Hitler. I don’t think I changed his opinion.

Our days are cycling through the endless rocky desert and stopping at the parking spots with little restaurants. We arrive and make our way to their fridge to inspect the cold drinks on offer. We sit and drink our purchases while our bikes are gazed at, the tyres are tapped, cables pulled and my carbon drive (chain replacement) is inspected. This time my wallet was also picked up from the table and checked out. My one US dollar was extremely interesting. They wouldn’t let me go until they had exchanged it for yuan.

At one of our stops we picked up another cyclist who was going in our direction. What makes people click? What makes someone like being with another? I don’t know. Something just feels right. Looking into their eyes there’s an understanding. We’re on the same wavelength.

Achun and I looked at each other – we could read each other’s thoughts. We did not have a click with our new fellow cyclist. The three of us cycled together through the desert to Xinxinxia. Our conversations were clipped. Tomorrow our paths are the same too. There is just one road.

The river bed

The river bed

Looking out over the flats

Looking out over the flats

Evening

Evening

Evening

Evening


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