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Published: October 18th 2009
Now at Jin Hua Hotel, Xiazhuang. Had a great day with the temperature about 25 deg C, shorts and T shirt weather. Lunch was at a cafe in a tiny village up in the mountains, we had to wait a while as they had not expected a large party of cyclists to descend on them. The terrain is very like the Alps, very picturesque with lots of climbing, lots of hair pin bends, up and down, up and down.
The whole place is very like India but if anything the roads are even rougher! There is lots of agriculture all around, they are growing maize and rice using oxen to plough. Have seen lots of fishing too. The group is viewed with great interest, don think they see many Europeans around these parts. There are lots of little wagons powered by what appear to be cement mixer engines, they seem very powerful though, for their size, pulling loads of a couple of tons.
The towns and villages are very scruffy with lots of rubbish piled up in the streets. Saw a great mound of plastic milk bottles and another pile of degradable refuse. The public toilets are APPALLING!!! The stench unbearable, I won give details just imagine the very worst. Fortunately, the kitchens appear to be very clean.
In the group there are 9 riders and the leader. There is also the bus driver who does not speak a word of English and two Chinese guides, who take turns to ride with us. Have enjoyed talking to them about China and its culture, am also learnig a few basic words in Chinese, please, thank you, hello etc.
Bye for now.
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