Day 33: Mojiang – Yuxi (110 km) – Distance travelled so far 1,887km “Too many kilometers for us humans….Anyone for a rest day? “
With a very good nights rest in our 3 bed room (very nice) we decide to take it easy today and complete a possible 70km to a place called Eshan about 200km or so south of Kunming. Our bodies are tired today and even at breakfast, we find it hard to muster up the courage to throw our beautifully toned legs over the frames of our Dawes Galaxy’s.
After a Munster final, half time dressing room speech from Mike firing us up……we pretty soon realised that…..it would take alot more than a Ger Loughnanesque pep talk to get us through this day. To try and pull ourselves out of this slump we decided to throw on some music and complete the first 20 km’s in pure silence….”Hello darkness my old friend…I have come to talk with you again……”
We made a hotel buddy, named “Jacko” last night who told us that the surrounding regions are home to many ethnic minority groups such as the Hani, Dai, Yi, Mongolian, Hui, Bai, Miao and Lahu people and that Yuxi (our next town) is well known for tobacco being the base of Asia’s first producing plant. Some of its brands are pretty famous too. So its tea and cigerettes tonight!!!
Our cycle today takes us up some pretty steep climbs (about 5-8km or so) and happily down some lovely free-rolling downhills. The landscape is still filled with terraced Paddy fields and some lovely tropical spots teeming with birds and butterflies. (something which puzzlingly, had been missing from our adventures in Laos) We love birds us!!!
We figure that when we finally reach Kunming, that we will have to take a rest day or two once again to place the finishing touches on our tour to Lhasa in Tibet. It is a very bad time of the year though (being Chinese New Year and Spring Festival etc etc). Buses, Trains and pretty much any other form of transport is incredibly difficult to book during these periods, with many holiday goers standing or sleeping in the corridors of trains/buses for 45 hours!!!!!!
Lookin’ Good Mike
It is utter chaos and we are worried that we will be severley delayed trying to get to Tibet any time soon. We have been told that with ourselves and bikes that it could take weeks to organise the relevent permits and safe passage into both Tibet and Nepal!!!!! Eeeeekkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!
We suprise ourselves come lunch time…We have cycled 62km. We celebrate this mini milestone by singing “Jive Talkin” by the Bee Jees to a chorus of laughs from a huge crowd of monks,stall owners and kids playing soccer. We then proceed to greet our audience using Chinese saluations (Yes…we do make an effort!!) and sit to have food with them. Fluffy rice, sweet and sour pork, eggs, cheese and deep fried fish….Delightful indeed….
We do a have a minor problem today…my camera’s lense is not opening properly. Its a bit of a bummer as its fairly handy for quick snaps and the like. Might try and find a camera shop in Yuxi or Kunming to that one fixed.
We progress onwards after lunch and break the bank cycling another 40 kms pretty much without a break until we reach a twisted and battered sign for Yuxi….Whooo hoooooo!!!!!!!!!…The outskirts of the Yuxi region seems to have mini vine-yards…Wouldnt have put China down as a wine producing place, but they are there alright….Brian seems pretty pleased….Vino tonight so!!!!!
According to the Lonely Planet (our guide book) Yuxi is one of the fastest growing small cities in China so finding a decent hostel should be easy business. Also nearby Yuxi is Fuxian Lake, the second-deepest lake in China, where there have been discovered ancient fossils that are now in the possession of the Yuxi museum so there maybe something of interest here….We shall wait and see!!!!
We stay at a family run hostel (hard word to prounounce so wont try!!!!) and they try to entertain us with their pigeon English. We are bloody tired tonight though and trying to explain to our hosts that we wish to retire to our dorms is hard work…
After some polite excuses and straegically placed mid-sentenced yawns, we finally drop the golden hint…
Goodnight Folks from The Yunnan Province of Yuxi, China.