Posts Tagged ‘Qijaojin’


The rest-place on the freeway was occupied by a group of Chinese motorcyclists. We arrived and the cameras came out. All items on the bike were examined – bells rung, tyre pressure checked, panniers examined. I sat down and took out my sunscreen, which was ripped from my hand. What is it? Cameras pointed at me from all angles, I pulled out my phone and took a video.

Observers

Observers

The road climbed, onto ever higher plains skirting the mountains. It was here that I passed 16000km from Eindhoven.

16000km

16000km

Lunch was at the summit. A busload of Chinese tourists arrived, and it was an orgy of photos. Cameras and mobile phones abound. I posed dozens of times in front of the bike, giving the V sign or the thumbs up. I think we were the reason for the delayed departure of the bus. When we finally went for lunch, we found it had been paid for.


‘What is huoche in English?’
‘Train.’ I answer.
I slam on the brakes. What is that symbol that I have seen everywhere that my Chinese app doesn’t recognize. ‘And,’ replied Achun.
Usually we speak in Chinese, and we get by. He is our spokesperson when we speak to others. We saw lots of people in the green, grape growing region. And then no-one – just cars zapping by as we passed the through rocky desolate plains.

The empty road

The empty road

I got up early to see the desert sand dunes that Shanshan is famous for. Although they look good, I really don’t like arriving, passing the tourist gate, and then the sand buggies, the camels, and the sleds that can all be hired to traverse the dunes. Achun was asleep when I left for the dunes, and asleep when I returned.

The Shanshan dunes

The Shanshan dunes

Today was always going to be a long ride. We followed the road parallel to the freeway until it fizzled out. Then it was just eating the kilometres, climbing up to 1200m before descending again to below 1000m. We’re staying in a little room in a restaurant. I’m glad I know where all these places are – lots of helpful information from a Chinese cyclist I me in Turpan.

Me and Achun

Me and Achun