Posts Tagged ‘Shuwei’


There are not enough hours of light and I am not strong enough to clock-up 100km with a wind like this. Sometimes I just stop. In the middle of the desert. In the sun. And just drop my head over my arms on the handlebars. This wind is relentless and, at this speed, the desert is infinite.

Strong wind

Strong wind

Sometimes I take the freeway. Sometimes I take the parallel road. I change between the two (often acrobatically due to the fence that follows the freeway) when there is a shop of some kind. It means a well-earned break from the wind. Sometimes I duck into a water drainage passage under the freeway. The wind is also less there.

With a wind like this, I don’t really notice the surroundings – a lot of glare and a lot of sand. I focus on some podcasts I have downloaded, and stay inside my mental cocoon.

Dry desert

Dry desert

My goal of Yumen was just too far. Off my planned route was the town of Shulehe – and from where I was, it was perpendicular to the wind. That’s where I wanted to go! The road had lots of trees blocking the side wind, and it was magic easily passing 10 km/h, and even hitting 20! Straight to the expensive tourist hotel. Tonight, I deserve it!

Sunflower drying

Sunflower drying


‘Mei you.’
There is a chatter of ‘weiguoren’ (foreigner). No hotel room for foreigners. Only the (4 star) official foreigner hotels are ok. After an hour of looking, I left Guazhou and off into the windy desert to camp.

The wind blowing the Chinese flag

The wind blowing the Chinese flag

It was slim pickings along the road regarding food. Not the restaurant every 10km I was used to. I left with enough water, ate some snacks on the way, and stopped at multiple melon stands to eat a melon or two. More than that was not on offer. Big town Guazhou was the first restaurant, and a multitude of hotels. Having travelled with Achun (who officially also needs to stay in foreigner hotels, being from Hong Kong) I was ready for an early evening and a long rest before the long slog into the desert. It was not to be.

The long desert road

The long desert road

After a further slog into the wind, I find myself in a dry creek bed near a little oasis village, only accessible from the road parallel to the freeway. I don’t think they get many people outside of the village here.. ☺