Week 2: Reality sets in. This week was spent regrouping after a police scare that set me back a few days and forced me to take a bus through south Hunan. So far, mixed success. To get to Hong Kong before my visa expires, I have to pick up the pace to 60 km days (2 on, 1 off) through 90-degree weather and 95% humidity. When you leave a business establishment in China, you’re usually met with a 慢走！(man4zou3 lit. Go slowly! fig. Take care!) This past week, I can only think I wish.
Thus is travel, though. Unforgiving. It wouldn’t be so gratifying if it weren’t a fight.
The sun was already low when I stopped to ask for cooking water yesterday. A young mother called her 5-year-old from the field and we spent 3 minutes looking for her little pink indoor slipper so she could help me ladle water. A rolling EV (electric car) advertisement played pump-up music to drag me up a gnarly hill, then invited me back to the air-conditioned dealership for a storytelling session. And this was a sight for sore eyes:
Touring Notes: This seems to be a commonly ridden stretch of road. The road climbs steeply out of Longsheng, but then it’s almost all downhill to Guilin. Roads are new and smooth for the most part, with various sections covered in dust and gravel spilled from overfilled trucks. Yangshuo to Hezhou was a little rougher, and I ended up taking some parallel country roads that were half unpaved but more pleasant traffic-wise. A dust mask wouldn’t be a bad idea, though it’s been too hot to wear one. I would recommend another season for this section of road.