Goodbye Guizhou

Goodbye Guizhou

Distance to date: 1875km.

Punctures so far: 4.

Number of times given a spoon when eating with chopsticks: 11.

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A few days ago I said farewell to Guizhou province. For an area that I chose merely as a way to get to Sichuan, it proved a wonderful surprise. I covered 872km and rode 10,654m of ascent, riding in from Guanxi in the Southeast and crossing into Sichuan in the Northwest.

I certainly felt every one of those 10,654m and grew to seriously loathe this sign,

Uphill sign

But the views were amazing.

Terraces1

Mountains4

Road2

The road conditions generally ranged from bad to horrendous…

mudpools1

With some more like bmx tracks.

Offroading

Including patches that were so pot-holed and bog-like that I had to push Rafiki through the sludge.

Muddy shoes

And of course, I got four punctures in one day.

Flat tyre1

Sometimes the road was lined with trucks,

trucks

Sometimes with dragons,

Dragon

And at other times, with noodles.

Noodles hanging

I saw people carrying much more than myself,

Massive load

And lanterns being lit,

Lantern2

With ten diving straight into the river before one finally sailed off into the sky.

latern1

I passed beautiful traditional houses, like these in the south,

Houses1

houses2

And completely different white ones of the north.

White houses

People were preparing the rice paddies for planting,

cow

Or transferring the rice, often in the beautiful clothes particular to the many different ethnic minority groups of Guizhou province.

Layers of rice paddies

I arrived in my favourite town so far, Leishan, with it’s elegant wooden buildings and green river.

Leishan1

The parade the next day just topped it off, with endless groups of schoolchildren marching past.

parade1

Parade3

Parade2

I discovered these delicious creations (some kind of rice patty thing stuffed with kidney beans and other goodies),

Rice patty thing 2

And also their sweet cousin, which is stuffed with brown sugar – bliss! The lady selling them found my return for more (4 in total to be exact) rather amusing.

Rice patty lady

 

And, most memorably, I met some lovely people. Like the two guys at the hostel who introduced me to Guiyang hot pot (the chicken being somewhat tastier than the cow stomach…),

Stomach

Couchsurfer, Chang, who took me to a local noodle place where I confess I ate a few noodles before I had to race to my bag to find a yoghurt to put out the flames in my mouth.

Chang and I

My cute little friend at the corn roasting stand,

GIrl with corn

The kind man at the hotel who helped carry my bike inside and waved away my embarassment at the pools of mud it made on his beautifully mopped floors,

Hotel guy 2

The super smiley cyclists I rode with for a little while,

Cheerful cyclists

Or the guy at another hotel who gave me a sticky rice triangle, part of the dragon boat festival celebrations.

Hotelguy

I won’t miss the rocky roads or the constant climbing,

me91

But I’m so glad that I picked Guizhou.

Well, Sichuan, it’s fair to say that the bar has been set very high.

Gucci

Comments

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    Sara Watson

    Wow! It sounds like your trip has been amazing so far. With plenty of 'ups and downs!' You inspire me former neighbour. Go well. Ooo - posted on June 13, 2014

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