255 miles can be a LONG day on Chinese secondary roads. We had great hilly and agricultural scenery: tobacco, sugar cane, cabbage, broccoli, and potatoes in bloom. Hundreds of greenhouses dotted the landscape. Time did not permit me to snoop inside to see what was growing.
At lunch, a proud father put his young son on Larry’s bike. In China, people check out everything on our bikes. They sit on them, adjust GPSs, and will try on helmets if left unattended. They’re not malicious, just curious.
Gunter was enjoying the scenery when a local motorcycle, coming from the opposite direction, pulled out to pass and clipped Gunter’s aluminum pannier. The combination of a heavy bike and his amazing strength, Gunter didn’t even go down even though the impact ripped open his pannier like a tuna can. Fortunately, the rider was not seriously hurt, just very surprised. Unfortunately, in any accident here foreigners are always at fault. We have been advised to just pay something and continue on. Gunter offered the man money, which was accepted. Erwin cleaned and bandaged the man’s minor cuts and scrapes. By now a crowd had gathered and the locals advised the rider to demand more money. We just continued our journey.
The road ranged from acceptable to excellent until 2pm. We thought we’d be at the hotel in time to relax and maybe do a little catching up on the blog. That didn’t happen. It took us four hours to go the next eighty miles. Squishy, slippery, slimy mud on top of chopped up pavement going down a hill in a road construction site was the absolute worst. Larry and I kept our bikes vertical throughout the challenges.
Riding through Panzi took us across the Yangtze River. This was a first for me.
We arrived at the hotel late for the meeting. We were in at 7:10, only 10 minutes past schedule. Trusting their GPS mapping directions little too much, Reinhard, Ernst, Juergen, and Frajo got in at 2 AM after touring many extra miles to destinations unknown. Kevin says we need a map, GPS, route notes and common sense to get where we need to go. Any one of which may be faulty.
11-Jun Kunming-Panzhihua-Miyi China 255 miles
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