Posts Tagged ‘Shibalipu’


The main road with lots of trucks. There was a climb over a pass of 3000m, but I didn’t feel immersed in the nature. The Tibetan Plateau is approaching – there was a village with Tibetan script – but I’m not there yet.

Tibetan script

Tibetan script

‘This is the Silk Road’ said one of the Chinese cyclists that we met on the way. I have been on the Silk Road since Turkey, although this corridor through northern China is the climax. It is now a corridor with big freeways and roads and fairly bland villages. We are now less than 100km from Lanzhou – the capital of Gansu province. I intend to avoid it. Wendy will be going through to Langzhou tomorrow to catch her train. Our paths will diverge then.


They stood at the freeway exit with their SLR camera taking photos of us. Only this time, it as the police who had instructed us to leave the freeway. I was holding my breath.

Fixing the flat tyre

Fixing the flat tyre

They drove right past Wendy and told me to leave the freeway. She thought we could just continue on until she realised they meant business waiting for us at the freeway exit with their lights flashing. I acted dumb (not difficult) and let Wendy do the talking. I felt like their tone was different to me, the Weiguoren (foreigner). To Wendy, they acted like her (and our) guardian angel. There is no place ahead to sleep for many kilometres so you should leave the freeway here. Acting all innocent and grateful, we left the freeway. They now have some great snaps of the Weiguoren and the Zhongguoren (Chinese person).

I have some great snaps of the mass of people that looked over my shoulder while I was looking at Facebook on my phone. Every time I lacked my privacy, the camera went on. I might have irritated some of them. Damn. ☺ Actually, it all became a bit of a joke, and I took photos of the whole village looking over my shoulder.

Looking at Facebook over my shoulder

Looking at Facebook over my shoulder

The morning was spent in Wuwei fixing my Chinese mobile internet, getting some money and finding a bike shop to fix Wendy’s brakes. We both felt a bit stupid when the person at the bike shop fixed the problem in 10 seconds in front of our eyes. A brake cable had come out of its holder and needed to be put back in.

My flat tyre later in the day took about 30 minutes to fix. I was amazed to learn that Wendy did not have anything to fix a flat tyre, and had not had one. She watched on in interest as I fixed the problem. It is kind of weird to think that I was being looked on as the technical expert (!).

Our evening ride turned a bit problematic when we realised we had misread distances and altitudes and it got dark a long way from anywhere. Luckily, the cluster of shops called Shibalipu (= 9km shop in Chinese) popped up. It has a little hotel. It is not 9km from anywhere I know of..