Sixty Sweet Miles

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
1
156
360
Trip End Aug 21, 2011


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Where I stayed
Honghe Hotel

Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

After two days off living it up in Kunming, it was back on the bikes and a push for the China/Vietnam border. The rest had really done us good and, apart from the after effects of last night's wine we were feeling back to full fitness, so that the day passed with an unfamiliar smoothness. The cycling was some of the most enjoyable miles we had done for some time.  The bikes, fresh from their latest overhaul, were riding like a treat.  The sun was also out, taking the sharp edge of the icy winds which we have become used to in China.

After having our third morning of Camellia Hotel breakfast, we packed up the bikes in the room.  I knew there was a reason for taking them up in the lift last night!  The reception staff did look a little surprised when the lift from the 6th floor opened and we wheeled our bikes out across the lobby.  We set off to negotiate our way out of Kunming.  The organised city planning of the modern Chinese made this a far simpler task than many of the big European cities we have passed through.  We dodged the persistent threat posed by Chinese electric scooter drivers (they are such bad drivers and the fact that they make no noise makes them doubly dangerous).  We passed a huge area of allotments and in contrast areas of development where they seem to be building entire new towns.   10 miles out and the city finally seemed to be running out of buildings.  We found the main highway we had been looking for which would take us to Yuxi and set about knocking off more of the 60 miles we had set ourselves for today.

We made good progress, the only problem with being on the highway is the lack of food stop opportunities.  Polly strangely was struggling with a little headache and needed lunch.  We had to fill the gap with dried mango and lychees until a service station finally came and we grabbed some egg fried rice.  The lady also showered us with nuts which we crammed into our pockets to nibble on later. (Polly: I was ravenous and had a very bad head!!!!!)

It felt like we had done quite a bit of uphill and this was confirmed when we were paid back with our favourite sign 'Long Descent’.  We cruised downhill for about 8 miles.  This provided the perfect chance to try out the newest addition to our kit.  Yesterday, after much hunting around, I bought a bike MP3 player.  The speaker device which is clamped onto the handlebars plays downloaded music at very satisfying high volume.  As we freewheeled down, Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin on a Prayer’ pumped out, classic!

We were almost home and dry, 52 miles done and an easy flat 8 miles remaining. That is until we were pulled over by the police.  He was a pathetic little man and very unlike any of the other policeman we have met.  He had decided that we were not allowed to cycle on the highway.  I’m not sure why the many police cars that have passed us over the last couple of weeks waving and laughing at us, had not felt the need to stop us and tell us off.  This prat grabbed at my coat sleeve and directed us to the next exit.  Not in a position to argue, we cycled off the highway and luckily found a minor road which carried us into town 8 miles later.  With the sun setting and good tunes blaring out of our new gadget, the day ended well.  Although, Pols did get stung in the neck by a bee, I leapt into action ripping the sting out and assuring her it wouldn’t swell up so she couldn’t breathe.

We checked into another nice business hotel without any fuss and hit the town in search of our evening meal.  After checking out some dodgy/dirty looking Chinese places we settled on KFC! Polly’s new found favourite of toffee strawberries on a stick rounded off a very smooth and sunny day.

60 miles plain sailing
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Comments

Tina on

Happy half term to you both.
Have purposely left 20 blogs to read over the holiday, bliss .... this is so much better than a book. Many of us at MRC are hooked. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

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