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Goodbye Jiangxi, Hello Hubei

120km Jiujinag to Qichun

semi-overcast

Today was the day that saw me leave Jiangxi province for Hubei province. The two provinces are separated by the Yangtze River and the massive Jiujiang Changjiang Bridge. As I crossed the bridge I looked back and saw the scale of the city I’d stayed in last night. Jiujiang is home to a whopping four point seven million people so approximately over 4 times the size of Birmingham in the UK. You really do forget just how many people live in China.

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There wasn’t too much to say about today’s ride. Once over the bridge I set about making my way to Huangmei. On first impressions there is very little difference between Hubei and Jiangxi.
I stopped in Huangmei to grab something to eat at lunch time and no sooner had I done so was I surrounded by another group of people all interested in watching me eat an apple.

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The landscape did open up a little bit today so hence one or two more extra photos. I haven’t taken that many simply because there really hasn’t been that much to take photos of.

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I reached Qichun just as it was about to start raining. Another hotel, another small Chinese town. I got myself a room at the impressively named Qichun International Hotel. The name suggests a certain level of luxury but the reality is that it was a simple hotel. The upside was that it had a lift so no need to make the torturous journey carrying the bike upstairs. There was no Internet in the room; I’m not sure if this is a bad thing. While having access to the net is undoubtedly useful it certainly means I go to sleep later at night.

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Before I set off on this trip I read Christopher Smith’s excellent account of his journey from the UK to Beijing in ‘Why Don’t you Fly – Backdoor to Beijing – by Bicycle’ This was back in the day of pre iPods etc and I remember vividly how he said he didn’t even have anything to play music on. Then I look at the variety of electronic devices I have with me; itouch, smart phone, netbook computer. I have numerous audio and electronic books, thousands of podcasts and not to mention a whole library of movies to watch I suppose it’s a sign of the times. I’m not complaining mind, it’s nice to be able to sit and watch something on the computer at the end of the day but I often wonder what a trip like this would be like without all of this.

I remember when I travelled around Australia when I was younger, there was no Internet in those days and you’d occasionally stumble across a copy of some International newspaper which would always be 2 weeks out of date. How did we keep up with the news? Now it’s so simple, it’s almost as if we have information overload.

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I took a short walk from the hotel down the street to buy fruit; Qichun really did look a place devoid of life. Since my stomach problems in Nanchang I’ve been a little cautious when it a comes to eating local food. The hotel had two decent sized restaurants so I decided to give Chinese food a whirl again. The place was pretty busy which is never a bad sign. I opted for the much smaller restaurant which was only populated by me. I was pretty tired and I didn’t fancy the prospect of being gawped at while I ate or having to politely refuse drinking beer. It would seem that restaurants don’t do half portions and again I was presented with two huge dishes of eggs and tomatoes and spicy shredded potatoes. I hate wasting food but by the end of dinner my stomach was about to explode.

I was tucked up in bed by 8:30 and the alarm set for an early morning start at 5:30. I really must remember to take the phone off the hook when I stay in hotels otherwise your sleep is more often than not interrupted by a phone call at around 11 o’clock offering a ‘massage’ Thank you but no thank you. Tomorrow Wuhan.

Posted by Ontheroadagain 18:01 Archived in China

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