English Version 14
There was a big fuzz in the hotel when Iíd asked how I got out of the city in the direction of Pingyao, which is the target og today.
Two maps in different scales was decorated the wall in the reception. The girl at the counter wasnít sure and made some calls. More came by, but in the meantime I had studied both maps + my own closely and had come to a result, but never feel too secure here. Better ask once more. After a lot of discussion, where one more has arrived, whom I believe is a guest, but shows up to be a manager, they reach the same conclusion as I. I remember to ask the name of the road I have to follow to the right and the name of the road I have to take to the left, and thatís fine, because the distances are longer than expected and there are no signs where I expect them to be.
The entire crew helps me out with my luggage and when I wipe dust off the saddle a wet piece of cloth emerge and the manager starts cleaning my bike.
Then it comes to my mind that I ought to buy some sun creme and a little help might be needed. It turns out to be wise Ė or maybe not Ė but fun. I think, Iíve made them understand, what itís all about, and they think theyíve understood, what I mean, so a fuwuyuan, as the staff is called, is accompanying me to the pharmacy which Iíve already noticed up the street.
An exciting scene takes place.
First some pills, hydrokinon, I think, which are painkillers. Then some against itching. Then painkilling crŤme and at last Ė I think Ė the right stuff. The tube is rather small. This crŤme should be factor 12. Thatís it!
Iím touched by all this willingness to help. Theyíll do anything for me I just have to say the words Ė and thatís the hard part.
The city is bigger than expected, a metropol almost. I was in the outskirts up north. But having found the road I just have to follow. In the end its name changes to Nan Lu, which means south road so I just have to keep on the track.
After 15 km I get nearer to the outskirts. They are building a lot here. Blocks of apartments some of them with 20-30 stories, I donít count.
Then comes more suburbs and at last I roll on something thatís more like a highway for a cyclist as I. 2 lanes in each direction and a shoulder that is wide enough for 2 smaller cars. And there is not SO much broken glass and not so much gravel and dust.
So I turn on the automatic pilot and fight forward. Itís not an exiting road.
The only dramatic situation comes when a small car from a side road turns left into the outer lane in my direction Ė and stays there, while a truck with high speed is coming from behind. The truck disappears into black smoke from the breaking. When I reach the spot I see a set of black double dotted lines on the surface, is that ABS or what is the reason?
Sometime later the road in my direction is apparently completely closed, so traffic is let over in the opposite lane. I have to go in the wrong direction in the shoulder, but thatís not unusual to do. A little later the blocking is revealed. Itís one of the big trucks which have participated in an accident, and now workers are unloading to another truck, so it can be towed away. By the looks of the damage on the truck it woulnít have been nice being in the other car.
When I get to Pingyao I have problems finding out how to access the
city. There is an old part surrounded by a city wall and thatís where
Iíve decided to stay. Thereís a youth hostel called Yamen Youth Hostel.
I have a small folder with a description I took at Far East in Beijing.
But getting through the gate is not easy. Cars are band but bicycles should be able to enter. But not with luggage. I have to remove it all and put it back when Iím inside. I find it, a single room with shower is 120, dormitory 50 RMB. With a discount caused by my Danhostel card, I get it for 100. I want to relax in this ancient city for an extra day. It has probably turned into a tourist trap but the buildings are genuine.
Now I have to stay cheap in the future if my money shall last until Xiían which is next city where I can withdraw money.
When the bike with the help of Lu has been carried into the courtyard (itís a traditional Chinese buildings like Far East) he wants to carry the panniers into the room, but I stop him asking if there is something I can clean them with first. No, I shall not. And he calls for one of the girls and she comes and clean them.
I talk a little with two Americans who have cycled from Chengdu to Xiían (the opposite of what I want to do). Get some information but have to ask them more before hey leave tomorrow night.
I go to have a look of the town while it gets dark.
Great God for a city! Filled with original buildings that are 3-400
hundred years old. Itís a warm evening and what an atmosphere walking
along hundreds of Chinese lights.
Even though itís all preserved for tourism (as for UNESCO) it canít take away the charm. I just walk around enjoying it.
I end up eating some place where she promised me I could have Gong Bao Ji Ding for 16 RMB. I had looked at the serving at my own restaurant and the prizes Ė Pizza and pasta and a few Chinese dishes.
The chicken appear to be more spicy than before. Iím sitting with sweat on my forehead. It must be the original recipe from Sichuan, there famous for having the most spicy food in China.
Going to an early bed and maybe watch a little CCTV9.