Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hong Kong

01 April 2010 / Kunming to Hong Kong / Visa re-newel / 0km / Total 5134km
We arrived around 5 am in the morning in Kunming but stayed (slept) in the bus until 08:30. We loaded off our bicycles and went to the bike shop in Kunming. Once we told the guy from the bicycle shop what kind of maintenance and parts were needed on our bicycles we went for some shopping and later we flew to Shenzen that afternoon. From Shenzen airport we took a bus in order to cross the border and to go to Hong Kong. We finally arrived in our Hostel around midnight very tired from the long journey.


 Arrived in Hong Kong


02 to 07 April 2010 / Hong Kong / Visa re-newel / 0km / Total 5134km
Early in the morning we went to the travel agency ( Japan Travel Agency) in order to renew our Visa for China. In the office we were told, that due to public holidays no Chinese Visa could be requested and processed until Wednesday 7 of April. We were supposed to fly back to Kunming on Saturday. With the help from the Guesthouse staff we changed the Shenzen – Kunming flight for the 8 of April. Most of the time we spent in Hongkong with shopping and sight seeing.
 Hong Kong by night

we even had time to visit Disney Land in HK

Friday, April 2, 2010

China (Yunnan)

08 March 2010 / Meng La to Mengyuan / 49 km / Total 4337km
We had a very hard day today. First of all we are still 1 hour behind (we still have Laos time) and therefore left even later than normal. Then we had some serious climbing to do and on the last 15km we did not have any water anymore. But the riding is very nice through the jungle along a nature reserve. Somewhere on the road we came to a bush fire and some farmers tried to extinguish a fire beside the road. Even Women with their children on the backs were fighting the fire. We stopped and helped the peoples to extinguish the fire which we finally managed to do. After they gave us some tea, we were on the bikes again in direction of Mengyuan.
Morning Market

09 March 2010 / Mengyuan to Menglun / 44 km / Total 4381km
We had a bowl of noodles for breakfast and soon set off for Menglun. We took the new road even it is forbidden for bicycles to be on that road. We had a steady climb for 12 km and then we faced a tunnel of 3km length. We decided to walk through the tunnel (on a kind of cable trench some 30cm above street level). Once we passed the tunnel it was appprox. 15km all the way down to Menglun. We checked in at a very nice Hotel (80Yn) and had some nice lunch. We met again an Australian couple (cyclist) we have seen in Laos a few days ago. We did some shopping and had a quick look at our e-mails. We went to dinner with the Australian couple and they gave us some information and maps we might use in the future.
Tee plantations in the region of Pu er.

10 March 2010 / Menglun to Jinghong / 77 km / Total 4458km
When we woke up today we had some rain and we decided to sleep another hour. Buy 9 o' clock the rain had stopped and we packed our staff and went for breakfast. At around 11:00 we left Menglun and had a pleasant ride along banana and rubber trees. We passed the Xishuangbanna Biosphere UNESCO site and thought about going inside.  We felt that the price was too high at 100Y. Along the Mekong we rode into Jinghong. We had lunch at the Deli mentioned in the LP, but the food was very expensive. When we looked around for a Hotel, we met a British guy ( cyclist) and he showed us some basic but nice Hotel where we finally checked in. The dinner we spent at the Mei Mei Café where we also connected our laptops’ to the internet and checked our e-mails.
Working in the rice fields

11 March 2010 / Jinghong / rest day / 0 km / Total 4458km
Today we visited the city of Jinghong, checked out some outdoor shops in order to buy some equipment we might need in the future. We went also to a bicycle shop to buy a spare inner tube for my bike and in the late afternoon we had a nice massage. We had dinner again in the MeiMei café and checked out some information with the british guy from yesterday.
Tee plantations in the region of Pu er.

12 March 2010 / Jinghong to Elephant Valley y / 51 km / Total 4509km
After we had a nice breakfast ( western style with Roesti) we left Jinghong and the first 20km were all uphill with a lot of traffic. We then stayed on the Road #213 which led us into the Sanchahe Nature Reservate. We stopped at the Elephant valley and checked out the Hotel in the park. It was not worthwile to spent the 180 Y as the rooms were not well maintained and we decided to go a bit further to look for an accomodation. After some 5km we found a Restaurant which also had one room for rent. We stayed here for the night and had a great dinner.
Rice fields

13 March 2010 / Elephant Valley to  Puwenzhen / 65 km / Total 4574km
Today again the first 25km to 30km were all uphill through beautiful tee plantationes. The plan was to cycle until Simaoh but after lunch ( which we had at 16:00) there was still some 45km to go with a climb again up to 1250m. We stayed therefore at a nice but very cheap Hotel in Puwenzhen. The Hotel staff were so kind to let us use their washing machine to  do  our laundry. 
Cooble stones - though riding

14 March 2010 / Puwenzhen to Simaoh / 44 km / Total 4618km
Easy ride with some climbs at the end of thr ride into Simaoh. Quite a big city with loads of new constructions done or ongoing. We had lunch and dinner at the same place. The Hotel we stayed was very nice and we could even see some F1 racing on CCTV9.
Working in the fields

15 March 2010 / Simaoh to Puer / 50 km / Total 4668km
Worst day so far. As therer is no Highway anymore north of Simaoh, all traffic was on the small road #213 we used to ride so far. We had to climp a steep hill with a lot of traffic and trucks with loads of exhuast fumes. Hopefully after Puer the condition will improve. Checked in at a brand new Hotel for 60Y.
somewhere on the road

 Dali beer..... very nice

16 March 2010 / Puer / rest day / 0 km / Total 4668km
 We took a rest day in Puer. We  did some resarch about bike shops in Interent and also we were looking for outdoor gear. It looks like that onces we are in Dali, we will need to go quick to Kunming to buy all necessary equipment. We also bought a Map in Chinese. ( in order to ask for the way on the road).
Fixing an electro motor somewhere in China

17 March 2010 / Puer to Jinggu/ 80 km / Total 4748km
Today we took road #223 which was all the way in construction. More than half of the way was dirt road and the other half was in very bad shape. We had nearly no traffic at all and after 50km we knew why there was no traffic. The road was closed due to heavy road works and some kind of a landslide. We were told that they would open the road again at 19:00 and we would need to wait here. We tolked to the responisble person in charge and then they stopped working and we were able to walk through with our bicycles. We were very happy but shortly there was again a road closure and this way the guy would not let us go through. All talking did not help but then Monica approched him again and suddenly all the work stopped and we could pass through again with our bicycles. We arrived after dark in Jinggu and went straight for a Hotel, shower and dinner.
Monica walking through the landslide

Monica walking through the landslide

18 March 2010 / Jinggu to Fengshan / 30 km / Total 4778km
We had a beautiful road today but it was all the time up and down and we felt soon very tired. We  decided to stay in a Hotel just after 30km. We had our bicycles washed ( 2Y/each) , had our clothes washed and had a nice nap after lunch in the afternoon.
  With the locals

19 and 20 March 2010 / Fengshan rest days / 0 km / Total 4778km
We needed two days of rest because Monica was ill and had a bad cold. Fengshan is a small town with only 1 Guesthouse but we liked it very much. The people from the village and the hotel staff were very helpful and one night we were invited by the party chief from the district for dinner and later for tea in his office. The food in the Hotel was delicious and we had every meal in the Hotel.

 Police on the road

21 March 2010 / Fengshan to Zhenyuan / 55 km / Total 4833km
Today we had a very tough ride. The first 30 km were very nice with nice asphalt road and nearly no traffic. This nice road suddenly turned into a steep climb and was either dirt road or cobble stones with a lot dust. It was a very hot day and soon we were running out of water. Some guys in a car stopped and gave us some water later on that day but some 20km before Zhenyuan, we loaded the bicycles on a jeep and were carried to Zhenyuan. Even the downhill part was very though and we arrived our Hotel in Zhenyuan tired but happy.
Farmers are still using water buffalos in the fields

 Ducks in the restaurant

22 March 2010 / Zhenyuan to Jingdong / 76 km / Total 4909km
Today we had an easy ride mostly flat to Jingdong. Nothing special on the way and in the night we were able to go to an Internet shop to do some mailing.

A lot of Chinese smoke this kind of water pipe

23 March 2010 / Jingdong to Shunhine/ 64 km / Total 4973km
We had a nice ride with lots of wind but mostly we had tail wind, so for once, we were very pleased with it. Shunhine is a very small village just 7km before the junction with Road #214. We stayed in the only Guesthouse in the small village and the owner, an old ugly lady, was very unhappy with us. I don't know why, but I guess it was because we did not wanted to stay here in the first place and came back after we realized that it was the only place to stay in town. Anyway, the place was clean and had even a washing machine. For dinner we decided to have BBQ that night.
 Somewhere on the road

24 March 2010 / Shunhine to Weishan/ 88 km / Total 5061km
Today also an easy ride into Weishan. First we steadily climbed over a pass at 2050 m and descended down to Nanjian. As it was around lunch time, we decided to eat here and carry later-on to Weishan. The last 35 km were gently uphill but always with headwind. We arrived in Weishan just before dark and were very pleased with the beautiful old town.

Today we passed the 5000 km since our start in Bangkok in November 2009

Looks like downhill

25 March 2010 / Weishan / rest day / 0km / Total 5061km
We had a rest day in Weishan, because this time, I got flu and felt very bad. I stayed most of the time in bed and only left the room for dinner.
Weishan,  Noodles hanging outside the shop for drying

26 March 2010 / Weishan to Dali / 46km / Total 5107km
We started well this morning but after lunch on the uphill part towards Xiaguan, Monica suddenly felt very bad. She had stomach cramps and was vomiting several times. We had a longer rest during the climb but soon we decided that she could not cycle like that and were lucky that we could stop a tuk tuk which took us to Xiaguan. Once arrived in Xiagaun, Monica had a coke for her stomach cramps and did the last 17 km to Dali old town by her own.

27,28,29,30 and 31 March 2010 / Dali / rest days / 27km / Total 5134km
We spent 5 days in Dali. First of all Monica needed a rest in order to get better with her stomach cramps and secondly we were waiting for a parcel from Switzerland which finally arrived on the 31 in the morning. Most of the waiting time, we spent with shopping and sightseeing in and around Dali. The weather was quite strange with rain and lots of wind. On the 31 in the night we took the night bus to Kunming in order to fly to Hong Kong the next day for the visa re-newel.
Around Dali

Dali (old town)

In the streets of Dali

Around Dali