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Published: April 30th 2012
Day 29 - Happy to leave Guilin, we hit the road for the marathon 820km leg to Nanchang. Someway into our journey I was saddened to have seen a sign to Shanghai, the first in over three weeks. The landscape is also gradually becoming more familiar now and I am cherishing every single kilometer clocked as I know the dream is ending soon. On route we are hopelessly looking for signs to tempt us into a detour, anything to break the finality of the schedule. A sign for a hot spring has us pouring over maps to see if we can accommodate the detour and still make it back to Shanghai in time. Alas, no choice but to stick to the schedule and head for Nanchang. After 9 hours on the road we finally hit Nanchang, a big, filthy city with worse traffic than Bangkok. Ying Chu has found us a nice restaurant to eat dinner in. Takes us one hour to cover the last 5km to the venue. I don’t know if my anger stems from the long drive, or from sadness that I’ll be back in Shanghai in a couple of days. Tensions arise amongst all remaining team members.
I check into another mega hotel chain wannabe. I think it’s called The Inter Galactic Peace International Hotel. I’ve decided to avoid all big Chinese cities on my next trip.
Day 30 – Hong Kong Dim Sum breakfast before hitting the expressway to Jingdezhen. This town is famous for Chinaware. Museum is closed. Hit the streets hoping to find small treasures. Not in the mood for bargaining, we leave and head for our final stop before Shanghai. Shexian Hongcun village, I’m told, is the real thing. A village with houses dating from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. We arrive, tired, angry, confused, and hungry. Shanghai is ever closer. A simple purchase and I get change in coins. I’ve not seen coins since I left Shanghai. Is it just me, or am I right in saying that they don’t use coins anywhere else? We have discovered the 5 Jiao note has a picture of a Miao lady on it. That is my souvenir for the trip. Sinclair gives me a fresh note. Nice.
Check in to our rooms. This is an ancient Anhui home. Double price tonight as it is the May holidays.
raining all day. We hardly notice. Hongcun, the ancient village, is weeping tonight.
We hit a trendy drink shop and Sin talks to the locals. He is fluent now.
We manage to muster a smile for the cameras, but it hurts.
Midnight and I refuse to sleep. This blog is my postcard, to me. To keep the journey alive.
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