Posts Tagged ‘Sharyn River’


Back on the road with cycling companions – David from Germany and Isabella from Poland. And it was a straight road – a hot straight road. Lying on my bed in the border town – I think of my next country – China. It’s size is daunting, and the first part is hot, flat and endless. I shudder.

David and Isabella on the endless straight road

David and Isabella on the endless straight road

‘Eta adin?’ people ask – ‘Are you alone?’
Yes. How do I feel about that? My hand pauses over the keyboard. For quite some time. I don’t know. I like cycling with people, sharing the experiences, and planning the route ahead. The challenges ahead seem surmountable with others. Night falling and a campsite still not being found is less of a problem with others. A companion means conversation that is more than where are you from, where are you going – and are you alone? This conversation is often followed by a shake of the head – an expression of either admiration – or of pity.

I have heard so much about China – so many differing views. It is a country that is intricate and complex, and standing on it’s edge as a foreigner, approaching people not knowing how things work, the gulf of understanding can result in a ‘mai you’ (no). I have been in Iran where people live under the shadow of the state. How will China be, I ask myself. I hope the understanding gulf will be reduced with the Mandarin I have learnt. Now there is just one way to see how it will be – go there.

China, here I come!

My companions for the day

My companions for the day


What a contrast. The rain closes in your horizons. Not only the eyes can’t see, but the mind turns inward to escape the rain. Today the sun shone on the wide, wide open expanses. This country feels huge, and I – the little ant – roll down from the mountains into the endlessness. Cycling through, I feel a tiny part of this huge planet – this little blue dot in the universe – the little blue dot I call home.

The wild west

The wild west

Today was a day for a side trip – to Sharyn Canyon. Recommended by everyone, it involved leaving the main road and going cross-country on a little corrugated sandy path. This was a highlight. No traffic. Just a little sandy line continuing onto the horizon, traversing the vast open plains of low-lying grass.

The long, straight road

The long, straight road

The sandy road

The sandy road

The lonely road

The lonely road

The canyon is an amazing valley, carved out of the flat surrounding landscape. Views from above abound. Getting down to the water with the bike was impossible (as the road was too steep to push the bike back up).

Sharyn canyon

Sharyn canyon

Sharyn Canyon

Sharyn Canyon

Sharyn Canyon

Sharyn Canyon

I met my camping companions David and Isabella at the canyon. They are also cycling around, and, together, we found a wild camping spot neat the Sharyn River.

For the record, in case people are looking for the information I was unable to find on the internet: it is not possible to cycle along the length of the Sharyn Canyon. The photos that are to be found with cars on roads at the bottom of the canyon, are all within 5km of the Sharyn Canyon Park entrance. The park entrance is 10km along a dusty corrugated road from the main road. It is a further 22km along a dusty, corrugated road to reach the main road near Shonzy (there are lots of different spellings for this name).