Reunited with an old foe

Sanjiang Travel Blog

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Beautiful terraces outside Zhaoxing

Since I arrived late at sunset yesterday, I spent a little bit this morning wandering around Zhaoxing. It is a Dong village, hidden away in a valley and surrounded by terraced fields (like all villages in this region). The town was a but rustic, but it had its charms too. I saw a man slaughtering a dog in the street and also a woman with a bunch of dead rats bound with string (probably dinner). I saw one dog trying to kill another dog (not sure why, they're both going to be slaughtered for meat eventually) and women washing their hair in the dirty river that bisects the town. It was an interesting town to stop in, but I didn't like it too much.

The road outside Zhaoxing, however, was beautiful. I spent the morning on another unexpected mountain climb (not even marked on my map), but made good progress because the colourful terrace scenery on the hillsides raised my spirits.

Wind and rain bridge along the river
It was probably the best set of terraces I've seen so far on this bike trip, and I've seen some pretty impressive ones already. I rocked the mountain and flew down the other side so fast that I had passed about 40 km in two hours (pretty good considering the steep climb).

My high spirits were soon crushed as I crossed the border between Guizhou and Guangxi provinces. I was reunited with my old nemesis, the unpaved road. I pressed forward, but it was even more difficult than before. There were also places where they were actually trying to fix the road, and these were very dusty from all the dirt churned up by the machinery. I was covered with dust in no time. Along the way I met my first biker, a Chinese guy who seemed really surprised to see me. He told me how far it was to Sanjiang, the next town, but I told him he had much farther to go than me to get to Congjiang.

Dusty!
He also said the road was bad all the way to Sanjiang, which is something I didn't want to hear.

I pushed forward, determined to make it Sanjiang before nightfall. I was stopped at a construction zone as a tractor dumped pieces of the hillside into the river below, blocking the road. The tractor broke down and I had to wait an extra hour before I could get through. Now there was no chance to make it Sanjiang before nightfall. Luckily a man who was waiting for the road to clear spoke a bit of English and I explained my dilemma. He helped me flag down a tour bus and negotiated for me to toss Rusty Jr. in the trunk (apparently buses have trunks). The bus would take another, much longer way into Sanjiang, but at least I would make it there. I loaded the bike in the back, climbed aboard the bus, stepped over the bag of melons blocking the aisle (I later learned that they were the driver's!), and sat back for two hours as the bus wound its way to town. I arrived well, well after dark, very dusty and very tired. Hopefully the road will improve tomorrow!

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Beautiful terraces outside Zhaoxing
Beautiful terraces outside Zhaoxing
Wind and rain bridge along the riv…
Wind and rain bridge along the ri…
Dusty!
Dusty!
The only other biker I saw on my t…
The only other biker I saw on my …
Riverside view
Riverside view
Roadblock trouble
Roadblock trouble
Sanjiang
photo by: halilee