Beautiful roads, except for dense fog
|Travel From||–||Chengdu, China|
|Ending Location||–||Shimian, China|
|Miles Driven Today||–||216 Miles|
|Total Trip Mileage||–||12572 Miles|
|Countries visited Today||–|
|Countries visited on trip||US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China|
Well, I’ve finally reached the 3/4 mark for my world tour. I’ve got until the 26th of October as part of the Edelweiss Motorcycle Tour, and then it’s into Thailand to see that country in more detail.
We left the hotel at 8:00 AM, and the ride was very busy as we exited Chengdu. Chengdu is a big city, that is sprawling, and at the 54 mile mark, I saw a sign stating that the building on the side of the road was part of some Chengdu Business Park. So, you get the picture, a big city, with lots of people.
It took us about 2 hours, to travel 34 miles, to a point where we could take a quick break, and begin to think that we were outside of Chengdu.
As usual, Tom selected all of the dishes for lunch, and it was again delicious. I cannot get over how every meal seems to be as good or better than the last. These guys can really make some Chinese food, right?
After lunch, I walked out to the bike, thinking that I could take care of a few little things, and was mobbed by a horde of little old ladies, and a few younger ladies. Now, when I say old ladies, I’m talking 70+, and when I say younger ladies, I’m talking about 50, but I’m a very poor guesser for the ages of the Chinese women, and I did not dare ask them. Oh, I couldn’t ask them, I still don’t speak Chinese.
Any way, we took a little video. Enjoy
A generally uneventful day
The ride had shaped up to be a generally uneventful day, with a few exceptions. We saw the aftermath of three accidents today. One accident involved a scooter and car, as did the second accident. The third accident involved a single car, overturned on the side of the road, right in the middle of a small town. How on Earth they managed to turn the car onto their side, and put it in a ditch, in the middle of town is beyond me.
And then at about 3PM, we started to climb up the mountain.
The Mountain Pass
Over the n ext 2 hours, we crossed through 4 mountain passes, the first three, cresting at about 3500 feet, but the 4th pass was formidable indeed. This pass crested at 7800 feet, and from about 5000 feet upward, we began to experience mist, rain, and construction.
As we climbed, the mist and rain got worse. As we reached about 6700 feet, we found ourselves in fog. The fog continued, and got worse until we reached the summit at 7800 feet. To make matters worse, the road was under construction. And so, all of the sudden, as we’re riding in the fog, the entire right lane (our lane) disappeared, and there was a crater in it’s place. Imagine that the road is made out of concrete, and the forms were laid for an 18″ deep layer of concrete, but the forms were empty. What remained in its place was a hole.
We arrived at the hotel at about 5:45. Because I no longer have to drag my panniers into my room, check-in was a breeze, and I was in the room in just a few minutes.
The hotel seems to be one of the newest buildings in this old town, but the rooms are serviceable, but not excellent. That said, after being on the road for so long, you learn to accept less, without questioning or complaining. So, the room is just fine.
Report from the road
What will tomorrow bring
Tomorrow’s route is just shy of 210 miles, but it will have at least one, very significant mountain pass. In this case, the pass rides along the ridge for quite some time, keeping us above 6000 feet for much of the ride, so colder temperatures may affect the ride.