A Record Breaking Muscle Aching Day

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Friday, January 28, 2011

This morning, breakfast was an absolute feast, as well as the usual noodles, eggs, mad pickles, deep fried dough, dumplings and vegetables; they had a vast selection of cakes and pastries. We sat next to a Chinese running team who we had met the previous night, just as they were setting off for a practise. They had a lovely time practising their English and saying "we like English people."

Our room was so nice that once again we didn't want to leave, especially as the closest town with proper hotels was 78 miles, so we knew we’d have to brave a dump again. Anyway, for once the first 24 miles were relatively straightforward. Some up and down, but they balanced each other out and we made it in 2 hrs. Already hungry again we joined a load of Chinese holiday makers at a coach stop and had feast of spicy roast potatoes and a pot of freshly cooked meat/veg/rice and some bizarre slimy looking thing.

After this good start we were hopeful that we could do the 120 miles in two days and make Kunming on Saturday night. We then hit 12 miles up hill – Aaaagghhhh! What a nightmare. It took 3 hrs and completely drained us (especially with Mikey’s lack of gears). Although we saw some incredible scenery ( see photos) we were feeling gutted UNTIL!! We saw the best sign in a long time. 20km downhill!!!!

At the bottom, we had achieved our target of 61 miles and as it was 5.30 and we knew we would lose the light soon, we decided to turn off the motorway to a little town and leave the last 65 miles for tomorrow.  (Also thought we might catch the Murray semi-final!) Annoyingly 100m off the highway, the road turned into a rutted track and we could see the grim little town was at least 3 miles down in a valley. I made the call that it would be better to carry on and see how far we got, camping if necessary. The 3 miles up in the morning would have been a nightmare.

Back on the G080, we found we had got our dual carriageway with hard shoulder back, meaning that we could cycle fairly safely in the dark if needed. We saw a sign to Jin Sue in 22km and decided to go for it. It the mountains, 22km (13miles) can take anything from hour to 3 hrs depending on the hills and headwinds so we were just hoping for the best. Fortune smiled on us however, and there was quite a bit more downhill and only gentle uphill. We made the turn off the highway in the dark at 7.30. We were then absolutely gutted to be told that the nearest hotel was 6km out of our way, but had to go for it. (2 miles were steep downhill!!).

Arriving in Xundian it was a big town, but unfortunately as it was Friday night most people were drunk and not very helpful. After a little while however we found a really sweet lady who had a lovely room for 6! By the time we were installed, it was 8.15 and we had been cycling for 10 hours and done 83 miles! Nevermind, we were at least now fairly confident we could do the 54 miles to Kunming tomorrow and have our reward of pizza and white wine.

Having seen a noodle bar just next door, we decided we had just enough energy left to refuel and went straight there after our showers. Inside the girl showed us a cabinet of different meats and veg and told us to point. We ended up with delicious bowls of noodles and dumplings and some peppers and seafood balls to cook in the middle of our table. Good fun and tasty. Climbing the stairs back to our room we really noticed how much exercise we’d done and tucked up in bed with the electric blanket on we fell straight asleep.

A record breaking 83 miles
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triciagick on

Wow - what an epic journey. Bit confused as this blog says Sunday 30th and you're writing as though it's Saturday - anyway, we're watching the final and have dad's laptop beside us and really hope you are in Kunming and get some rest and that we get to speak to you. Hope you're watching too.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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