Well first things first and nobody likes to start with bad news. However, I'm currently writing this blog on a hotel computer as my beloved little netbook it would seem took one bump too many and when I turned it on today the screen had tunred white with what looks like large blobs of ink appearing on it. Basically it's toast! The SD card reader I had for my cameras memory card has also stopped working. It doesn't rain it............... I'm in a hotel at the moment which luckily has a computer in the room but it doesn't have one of those slots to insert a SD card into. The upshot of this is obviously no photos at present which is a real shame as I've gotten some great shots over the last couple of days.
Being back on the bike after my extended stay in Xi'an was good and I was lucky enough to also have good weather. I can't stress how much of a difference riding in good weather makes. There was a tinge of sadness as I left Xi’an and Jano’s backpackers. I’m not sure whether I’d just become accustomed to relaxing so much or whether it was because I could go totally unnoticed in a city full of foreigners but either way it was time to go.
Today's ride was pretty straightforward and once I'd made my way out of Xi'an it was time to click into a comfortable gear and cruise along at a leisurely pace. As the scenery changes and the weather picks up it’s more about enjoy the sights and sounds around you. The weather was so good in fact that I was considering camping outside for the first time on this trip. When camping planning is everything and by the time I arrived in Yongshou it was late afternoon and I had run out of water. I seem to have trouble in this part of China finding the large bottles of water, continually buying the smaller ones is a bit of a pain. It was then that I saw a cheap hotel and shelved my plans to camp for one more night.
On leaving Xi’an I’d picked up a Subway sandwich half of which I’d eaten at lunch time. When I got to the hotel and kicked off my riding shoes I lay down on the bed and finished the other half. Simple pleasures like this cannot be taken lightly when out on the bike most of the day. It was a beautiful moment.
The hotel was much the same as the others I've stayed in. This one had some of that ear splitting Chinese music playing when I entered and an old man encouraged whom I'm guessing was his granddaughter to dance. She was obviosuly very shy, young Chinese children seem to be genuinely terrified of me however once I proceeded to do a crazy monkey style dance myself she soon joined in and the whole of the reception giggled amongst themselves as the crazy white man made a fool of himself.
Depending on which map you go by, google, my GPS or China Highways it's anywhere between 650 and 715km to Lanzhou from here. So I'm thinking 5 or 6 days but once again that's very much dependant on the weather.