Distance: 4690 km Bike 1400 km Public Transport
daily Average: 78 km
Days in China: 60
Days on the Bike: 48
Altitude covered: 41250m
Daily Average: 859m
Nights in the Tent: 39
Nights in Houses: 21
Breakdowns: 2 broken Spokes, 4 flat Tyres, 2 replaced Tyres, Tent-Zippers broken, Crank Bearing replaced
Daily Costs: 13,10€
Up and down once again…Kunming was a place to find some sleep and do some repairs, not more…
The Hostel was full of western traveller and a few cyclists. One of them was Michael, i met him in Teheran the first time and after a short chat we knew that we will cycle together to the Chinese Border. My bike got a new Crank bearing that was installed in a Bike Shop that doesn´t take money for the work. Thanks for that!
As we started Ollo joined us and so we were three of us cycling to the south. I followed the Route Michael planned in Kunming although there were some alarming peaks on the chart…
After two days in the hilly land we reached our first Mountain and afterwards we had a fantastic descent down into a river valley. the River was on 250m over Sealevel and the next day goal was up on 2000m. Puh! But up there was our Highlight for this part.
The Hani-Ricepaddies, an areal created by the minority of the Hani over the last 1300 Years. Steep Mountainflanks are made usable by building terraces. Maximum 3700 Layers climbing up the Hills. The Road follows the Ridge so you can take some wonderful views down to the terraces.
After the steep climb we took a day off before we, from here just Michael and me, cycled on to the Chinese/Laos Border.
We crossed the Tropic of Cancer, the northern Border of the Tropes and the Nature changed. Before there were some Bananas, Palms and Bamboo Plants but now the landscape was full of them. We cycled through Forests of Bamboo and along Banana-Pantages hemmed by all kinds of Palmtrees. With the Flora came the Humidity. Temperature was ok but the humidity made us, also in the cold air, sweat. We had cold nights and everything was wet in the morning. Our Sleepingbags didn´t dry at all and we slipped into moist clothes. It reminded me of the beginning in May last year as the rain in Europe did the same to me…
The more south we reached the poorer the region got. Along the Laotian Border just Minorities are settling in partly precarious circumstances. The Garbage is lying around and the people are living in simple Bamboo-Houses, Live is happening mostly on the Road. The People are extremely friendly and hand´t seen so much western cyclists before…
The seven Days to the Border were long days on the Bike with a lot of Altitude to cover and i was extremely happy as i could see the Exit-Stamp drying in my Passport on the last possible Day.
With this step the most intense Time of my Biketrip ends. 2 Months in China, the daily fight with the unknown, spicy food und at least Diarrhea (just the second one on this trip)… as i crossed the Border i felt like in need of holidays…
I got a (cause of lack of language-knowledge) superficial view into this gigantic Empire and put another complexion on some of the clear and correct facts i heard and knew before. I compared it with India i visited a few years ago, and it showed me that the chinese way is more effective to reign a continent. That they are unmindful with dissidents and minorities is a logic consequence. The Government is painting big pictures, they are building Highways, Cities, Railways looking into the future and also destroy the monuments of ancients time. „Picturesque Ancient Cities“ as we knew them from Europe are no linger existing. If they talk about that it is newly build…
The Number of People living in this Country don´t really gives you a chance for privacy. So the Chinese had learnt to share his life in public and also to create a kind of „virtual privacy“ by ignoring the rest. Fascinating!
Cause of the Lack of time and the big distances in China i did not had the time to slow down, so i think about coming back next year to take the time for the details and cycle less…
But this is the future, now i entered Laos and i´m looking forward to real exciting weeks in this Country. The first days were fantastic so be curious about the next story, the next time!