Days 228 to 237
Don't freak out, I know I've never bunched multiple days together before. I'm not getting lazy, I'm not cheating, its not a new trend. I'm in Beijing, hundreds of miles away from the bike, and my time here hardly feels like its part of the bike trip. In fact its really kind of a vacation from my trip. Ten days, that's a long time. Lots of stuff happened. There was also a lot of down time where I really didn't do anything except for hangout in the hutong where I was staying and drink a lot of Tsing Tao with fellow travelers. Can't remember the last time had nothing I needed to do for 10 days, also can't remember the last time a drank that much beer for 10 days... Of course this place is very international compared to any of the other places I've been in China, and it was full of foreign travelers. That was a good thing and a bad thing. Saw lots of stuff, made some new friends, then took the train back down to Lanzhou. Vacations over, time to get back to work.
|Best sports stadium name ever|
|The old Water Cube|
|Inside the Birds Nest|
|Of course I had to stop at the Urban Planning Museum|
Its funny how much a ten day break can get you out of shape. In some ways, today felt like day 1 all over again. But it was nice to be back on bike and progress was made' albeit slower and more painfully than usual.
Its great to be back on traveling through my own terms. No waiting for buses, subways, and trains. No more visits to crowded stations to figure out intercity travel plans. The bike is slow but it goes where, when, and how I want.
Today's 100 km ride into Shangqui felt slow, but got to town at a decent hour and, after dealing with the usual bullshit in trying to find a hotel that would accept me, found a cheap place. Walked around town tonight, found a street full of carts and kiosks with incredibly great food. Went from vendor to vendor, ordering lots of food. Great stuff, ate well.
The day I was supposed to be done. 240-day trip. That's what I kept telling myself. That what I told everyone else. Yep, 240 days to Shanghai... Even though its completely intentionally planned that I'm going slower than scheduled, I still felt a bit disappointed. Day 240 was bitter sweet; I'm not at the end, but biking through the anticipated last day means I am damn close.