Monday, June 21, 2010

China (Sichuan)

26 April 2010 / Shangri La to Camp Site @Km 62 / 66km / Total 5768km
When we left Shangri-La, it was snowing and very cold. We had to cycle approx. 30km gentle uphill and when we arrived at the top, we stopped at a nice and warm police check-point. We were offered Yak-butter tea and tsampa. We had our wet feet and socks dried at the warm stove and finally did a total of 66km and found a nice place for camping.
Leaving Shangri La 

On the road again

 Getting ready for some Yak butter tea

Preparing Yak butter tea

Camp site

27 April 2010 / KM 62 to KM114 / 52km / Total 5820km
Today we climbed for the first time a pass with more than 4000m altitude. Luckily the weather was beautiful and it was realy nice, but the last few hundered meters were very hard. I had to stopped several times to get enough breath and I had to slow down as much as possible.
Beautiful weather whilst climbing first time higher than 4000m.a.s.L

28 April 2010 / KM 114 to KM192 / 78km / Total 5898km
So far the hardest day ever. Soon after we left camp, the road went from asphalt to unpaved and later turned into mud. During quite some time we had to push the bicycles through the heavy mud. After reaching the top of the pass we had only a small downhill and the climb stared again. This time we escaped just by minutes from a heavy snow storm. Anyway, when we reached the camposite after 1,5 hours riding downhill on a unpaved road in the night, we very happy that our friends, Chris and Christoph already had the fire going and the dinner was ready as well.

Pushing the bicycles trough the mud

Climbing over 4000m.a.s.L

At the top


29 April 2010 / KM 192 to Xiangcheng / 30km / Total 5928 km
Today we had a beautiful and easy ride through a very nice valley with loads of Tibetan style houses. We spent some time for lunch and when we rode into Xiangcheng, we decided to stay in a Hotel tonight in order to wash our clothes, have a shower and rest our legs for the next days climbs.

 Get some hot water on the road from the locals

Easy cycling today

Village kid

30 April 2010 / Xiangcheng to KM 265 / 43km / Total 5971 km
We knew that today we would have to climb only. We decided to climb to an altitude of approx 3200m a.s.L and then take the pass to Sangdui the next day. We planned to meet Chris Strongman and Christoph again Sangdui.

Camp site on the way to Sangdui


01 May 2010 / KM 265 to Sangdui / 44km / Total 6015 km
We did it , we passed the 6000km today. In Sangdui we again Chris Strongman and Christoph. We checked into a nice guesthouse and had a good, strong meal. In Sangdui we saw for the first time the locals selling Himalayan Viagra. (kind of worm which they sell to the chinese).

 On top of the pass 4708m a.s.l.

 Christoph and Strongman having dinner

Woman in Sangdui

Street vendors in Sangdui

02 May 2010 /Sangdui to KM 391 / 84km / Total 6099km
Nice ride over 2 mountains and a nice lake inbetween. We met again the 2 guys at lunch time and after 84 km we put our tent's on a beautiful river bank. We had some very special but tasty soup for dinner in a near by restaurant.
lunch time

One more done

Very cold on top of pass

 camp site before arriving in Litang

Typical dinner 

03 May 2010 /KM 391 to Litang / 40km / Total 6139km
We had an easy ride today, we had first a gentle climb and the all the way down to Litang which is one of the highest cities in the world. Approx. 4000m a.s.l. We checked in at the Potala-Inn Guesthouse. Nothing special but seems to be the only choice in town.
 Yak skull


04/05 May 2010 /Litang rest days / 0km / Total 6139km
We spent 2 rest days in Litang. We had our bikes and clothes washed and we did some maintenance on the bikes. We visited the birth place of the 7th Dalai Lama and also the local Monastery. Litang seems full of local peoples selling kind of a worm which is used for Chinese medicine. (Kind of Viagra).


06 May 2010 /Litang to Workerscamp/ 30km / Total 6169km
Today I had my first real dog attack in Tibet. While riding uphill out of Litang, passing the Police Check-point, suddenly 3 dogs (luckily not very big ones) attacked me. One of the dog bit 2 times my front bag and then wanted to bite me into my feet. I could get out of the click pedal and with a strong kick to his head, the dog fell over and let go. The 2 other dogs finally stopped and I found myself without breath at 4000m a.s.l and this all uphill. For the night we stayed at a workers camp, but slept in our tent.

Somewhere between Litang and Kanding

07 May 2010 / Workerscamp to Yajiang / 50km / Total 6219km
We had an easy ride today; we had first a gentle up and down and the final climb over a pass with 4659m altitude. On the way down to Yajiang (some 30km downhill) we met a lot of Chinese cyclist all of them on the way from Chengdu to Lhasa. We reached Yajiang at approx. 14:00 and went straight for lunch. It took us until 17:30 to find a place to spend the night.
Hotel room

8/9 May 2010 / Yajiang rest day / 0km / Total 6219km
We decided to have a rest day in Yajiang. We had some tough climbing done in the last days and will have some more climbing to do.

10. May 2010 / Yajiang to Checkpoint / 40km / Total 6259km
At 7:00 we left Yajiang and we had to climb a total of 50km today, we had first a gentle up from 2500m to 3500m and then final climb over a pass with 4412m altitude. We did some good progress but around 14:00 and after 41km it started to rain. Luckily we were just in front of a check point and decided to wait here at the warm stove until the rain stops. Unfortunately the rain turned into snow and we decided to spent the night here at the check point. The guys were so friendly to let us pitch our tent in the car shelter and gave us some nice dinner.
 Check-point where we spent the night

 11. May 2010 / Checkpoint to Xinduqiao / 50km / Total 6309 km
We woke up this morning and it was freezing cold. It had snowed all the night and the landscape around us was all white. The guys from the Checkpoint invited us for breakfast (noodles and tsampa) and around 9 we left the place. We reached the top of the pass (4412m) after a 1,5 hour climb and made it for lunch into Xindugiao. The rain started again and after lunch we decided to stay here for the night.

On top of another pass

Monicas prayer flags

12. May 2010 / Xinduqiao to Kanding / 80km / Total 6389km
We made breakfast in the kitchen of the Hotel by ourselves (Toast and coffee). At around 8 we were on the road and started our 43km climb towards the pass. Again we met a lot of Chinese cyclist all on the way to Lhasa. We reached the top of the pass at 14:00 and the rest was nice downhill (on the recently new paved road) into Kanding. We stayed at a guesthosue  run by a Tibetan family.  The room was very nice, and clean.

Our last big pass before arriving in Chengdu 

We made it to the top

And now its all downhill

13. May 2010 / Kanding to Luding / 50km / Total 6439km
We had a late start today because we slept so well in that place with the electro blankets. Around 10 we left Kanding and made it to Luding some 50km down the valley. We checked into a Hotel and started to wash our clothes and dried the tent which still was wet from the last time we used it in the snow.
Monica trapped into Yaks

14. May 2010 / Luding  to Ya an / 114km / Total 6553 km
Today we had to climb our last pass including go through a tunnel of 4.5km lenght. All the way we met a lot of chinese cyclist on their way from Chengdu to Lhasa.

Chinese cyclist on the way from Chengdu to Lhasa

15 to 27 May 2010 / Chengdu / 0km / Total 6553 km
We were stuck in Chengdu for nearly 2 weeks due to the paper work for the permit to go into Tibet. Most of the time we spent with sleeping, eating, internet and of course the visit of the famous Pandas.
Panda in Chengdu

Chengdu seems to have Pandas everywhere

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