We’re Going To Grow Gills

 

This morning, we thought were in Las Vegas.  A sign above our sink said, “No Drinking Without Dealing.” I think it was supposed to say “No Drinking Without Boiling.”  As soon as we saw our pile of rain gear on the floor, the reality set in.  We are in China and it is raining yet another day.

Built in 1907, this bridge, was the first to cross the Yellow River.  Of special interest to our German friends was that all the iron for this bridge came from their homeland.

Normally, stopping by the side of the road is preferable to using to using the toilets at Chinese gas stations.  With rain suit removal a necessity today, I bit the bullet and hiked around to the back of the gas station to the dreaded toilet.  The smell would have gagged a maggot.

No, my pants are not wet because I waited too long to use the restroom.  They were this wet after 1 ½ hours of riding and were totally soaked by the end of the day thanks to my “Frog Toggs” rain suit.  Some people swear by this brand of rain suit.  I swear at it!  Although the jacket does a fairly decent job of keeping me dry, or maybe damp, the pants are close to worthless.

 

Our destination, Xining, is on the edge Tibetan Plateau.  With wet rain suits and just wanting to enjoy the dry, cozy hotel room, Larry & I passed on the afternoon’s optional tour to a 16th century Tibetan monastery.

Warm, dry, and rested, we were ready for tonight’s treat:  Peking Duck.  Kevin & Julia had discovered our destination by walking around town during their route planning trip here last year.  The twenty of us who feasted on duck had a treat. Ducks specially raised to be fat are roasted in clay ovens.  A chef sliced each bird as we watched.  To eat Peking duck, one takes a soft, tortilla type round,  adds a few morsels of the rich meat, onion slivers, and a soy based sauce.  Skillful eaters then wrap it up like a crepe using chopsticks.  Those less adept with chopsticks use their hands.  After either method, the concoction is quickly devoured.  After our delicious dinner, Erwin & I posed outside.

 

The rain had FINALLY quit so we enjoyed a stroll through the night market.  Pungent spices and freshly picked vegetables were among the market’s offerings.

 

It’s good that the rain has quit and none is predicted for tomorrow.  We’ve been using our rain gear for so long that Larry wore a hole through the shifter toe of his otherwise dependable Tingley rubber over boot.  As adept as Jeff, Globebusters mechanic extraordinaire,  is at patching inner tubes, I’ll bet he’ll be able to patch Larry’s boot.
22 Jun   Lanzhou-Xining    140 miles

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