10-12 Day 94 (Dali, China arrival)

It feels like Montezuma is leaving the building


Travel FromLiajiang, China
Intermediate Location 
Ending LocationDali
Starting Odometer37,525
Ending Odometer37,525
Miles Driven Today0 Miles
Total Trip Mileage12982 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


The events of the day


Sometime, in the middle of the night, I received word from the hotel that they wanted me to compensate them for the loss of their sheets. It felt very ironic to me that the root cause of any soiling of the sheets was entire due to the food that I ate at their hotel, just 36 hours before.

I called the front desk, spoke to Sharon, who was horrified that it was the hotel that caused the problem, and she vowed that I would not be billed for the sheets. But, she wanted to talk to me about compensation, so I was to wait for a trolley to pick up my bags at 8:00 AM, and then to go to the front desk, ask for Sharon, and she’d make it right.

8:00 AM

Well, at 8:00 AM, the trolley showed up, at the front desk, but Sharon had gone home. I spoke to another manager, who referred me to the restaurant manager, who is an gentleman of Indian descent. I headed to the restaurant, where I could eat some toast, and met Neil at my table.

We talked, but it became evident that the idea of compensating a guest for something that the hotel had done wrong is simply not in their way of thinking. I mean, Niel is a very nice guy, who is a biker too, and who has been schooled in hotel management by Intercontinental. So, he’s got a pedigree, but even a guy like this, when placed in China, does not even think ghat the hotel should compensate me for a meal which likely caused me food poising. Nevertheless, I did not have to pay for the sheets, which is a bonus of sorts.

Today’s Ride

Too bad, I’m in the van


We left the hotel this morning at 9:00 AM, but for the first and only time of the tour, I was not on the bike. The bike was securely set into the van, where it would make the journey, with it’s rider in the front seat of the van.

When I got up this morning, I was still feeling the effects of the Food Poisoning, and was too weak to ride. So, I opted to sit in the van, and make my way to XXX as a passenger, not as a rider. So, today’s post will be just a little bit different.

Today’s route

Our route today was scheduled to be around 200 Km, or 130 miles. Without my GPS running, I have no way to validate the distance, but I assume that since we followed the track, it is an accurate representation of the distance traveled.

We would end our day in the town of Dali, as we continue our southward direction, heading toward Laos, where we’ll cross the border in just 5 days.


Since I was riding in the van, along with Mike, and Tom, our Chinese tour guide, I had a chance to speak to Tom about many things, including lunch. I was lobbying hard for us to get some Kung Pao Chicken, which is s spicy dish, made of chicken, red peppers, and peanuts. It’s delicious, and one of my favorite dishes.

However, things are not quite that simple on the road. You see, my stomach, while it is performing much better, and not threatening a violent act, was still not fully cooperative with my desire to eat spicy food. So, during lunch, I ate rice, a little bit of potato, some mushrooms, and not much else. I’ll bet it was less than 400 calories, perhaps as little as 300, but I did not want to stress my GI system, so I deferred to abstinence.

That said, even the rice and mushrooms tasted wonderful after 36 hours of almost no food at all.

The rice field

After lunch, we came upon a rice field, where I was able take a few photos, and talk to Tom about what I was looking at. As it turns out, it’s quite interesting how they harvest the rice, and what they do with the waste. So, I took a video of the field, and talked about what Tom had shared with me.


Report from the road

Sorry folks, no report from the road today.

Hotel Arrival

Since we had a short day, we were able to arrive early today. I would guess that we arrived at the hotel at about 3:15. I quickly got my room key, and saw to getting my gear to my room. I then rushed back to the van, and 3 or 4 of us unloaded the bike. Since I’m the tallest, and it’s my bike, I was in charge of guiding it down, with a few other folks looking and telling me where to go with the bike.

After getting the bike out of the van, I needed to put air in the tires, so that took another 15 minutes in total. When done, the bike feels great, and even though I’ve broken the cardinal rule, as stated by the Michelin engineers, the bike feels like it will ride and corner well. Tomorrow, we’ll see how it runs.

What will tomorrow bring

Tomorrow is a long day, of approximately 275 miles, through windy roads, with the potential for mudslides, and other obstacles. With an 800 AM departure, we’re estimating an arrival at about 6:00 or so. Too many variables to be sure, but we’ll know more, once we get started.

My plan for today and tonight

I’m exhausted. I did not sleep very much last night, so I’ll sleep most of the night, and be ready for the long ride tomorrow. It feels great to be back on the bike, and I can’t wait to mount her up, and ease the clutch out until I’m riding out of the hotel entrance.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.


  1. You are tough as nails Cliff! At this point in your journey everyone knows that so just stating the obvious. Hope you get plenty of rest and have a good ride tomorrow!

    1. Thanks Gideon,
      I was fortunate to get on the bike and ride today, and the road was glorius, although there was one section of about 20 miles or so that was really slippery. Imagine tar, that has bee polished, layered with oil from the big trucks, and then a layer of sand, and water from the water-cooled brakes on the trucks. Each turn was a new adventure in and of itself.

    1. Nate, it’s nice to hear from you. We should get together and share a beer when I get back home.

  2. Cliff, Enjoying your travels. Given the miles you have gone, one day of misery is not bad. It helps you to appreciate all of the good days. I have been to China, but only Beijing and Great Wall. The food and hospitality are remarkable. Your Milwaukee cousin,

    1. Hi Madeline. I know that you’ve done quite a bit of travel, and have had similar experiences. It does me good to get your support. Please share my best with everyone. I’ll be back in the US in 3 weeks, where I’ll be able to have a bit of normalcy. I wonder how long until I’m restless again?

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