Kicking Back in Kunming

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

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Waking up at 7.30 and not having to put on stinking clothes and get ready to cycle was absolute bliss this morning. Not wanting to waste the day , we got down to breakfast by 9 so that we could try and get all of our tasks done. First – deal with two enormous bags of foul smelling laundry – done in hotel. Second get Vietnamese visa. Our hotel has 4 travel agents in the lobby and Mr Chen was keen to help us. He said this was the very last day we could get one because of Chinese New Year, and got straight on the phone to check if there was anyone at the embassy. Luckily there was, but he ran off immediately, without even waiting for us to get the money, as he was so worried they would go home. We should have them by 5.30.

The third job was to get the bikes fixed, more difficult as we haven't seen any other bikers and had no information about good shops. We decided to head for the nearest Youth Hostel, The Hump Hostel and try and get information there. They did their best, but we couldn’t find either of the shops the guy had marked on the map and saw a more of the city cycling round looking. On our way we found a Giant store and had to take the risk. We’ve left the bikes with a guy who seems to know what he’s doing and at least had all of the new parts. Two new wheels for Mikey, brake pads and back axle. We’ve got to pick them up at 6, so fingers crossed.

That done, we could really relax. The city is such a contrast as it’s so modern and developed in parts with Macdonald’s and KFC’s everywhere, but then you turn a corner and see huge hunks of meat being chopped up and cats in cages. Walking back to the centre we passed through some mad areas where people had the cutest puppies all piled up in cardboard boxes for sale. I think they were being kind to them. We also went into a park filled with old men selling birds in cages, we heard the birdsong ages before we found the park it was so loud.

We went straight back to the Hump Hostel’s roof top bar and had burgers in the gorgeous sunshine overlooking the city. We then went to Carrefore to try and buy much needed supplies of coffee. They didn’t have proper stuff, but they did have French baguettes and deodorant. (Ours ran out 2 weeks ago and we’ve not been able to find any in China. Don’t think they use it, which is strange as they don’t smell!) The supermarket was absolutely packed, I think it’s the rush before Chinese New Year as it was exactly like going to Tescos on Christmas Eve!

A taxi ride back to our hotel, and we’ve settled in to watch the Final of the Australian Open. Murray looks pretty nervous! We’ll go and pick up the bikes later, and so long as they are completely fixed we may stay another night and recharge more before the 250 miles to the border.

Mr Chen jut knocked on our door and dropped off the passports with visas – great. Just going to pick up the bikes now.
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Jojo on

Those bikes better be in tip top condition when you are reunited so that you can at least have another day to rest your weary bones. Good news about the visa's though and hope the restof the journey to the boarder is not too eventful.

Stunning day here - all the young are climbing up the Trundle and I went to church which was being presided over by the Bishop of Europe (I am all abit confused by that - how come the CofE has such a Bishop?)

Thinking of both of you a lot all love jojo and Christopher

Ffion and Les Mercer on

We have been following your blog with great interest and admire your strength, tenacity and courage enormously. What tales you will have to tell the grandchildren! You are now entering familiar ground to us and we are sure you will love it and find things a little easier in south east Asia. Have fun.
Love from us both

Alison Cunnington on

Wow another amazing couple of weeks. I don't know how you both do it!!!!!!!
It sounds so fascinating. Good luck for the next part of the journey xxx

Elizabeth&Olaf on

Hiya guys, well am keeping fingers crossed for your bikes and lets hope for no more nasty metal staples! Is sounding like a real swing between the great and the scary out there! Missing you both, lots of love E&O xx

Amanda Mae on

You two carry on looking after each other and I hope that you get to stay somewhere absolutely amazing on the 4th and that you don't have to do any uphill nonsense! xxx

Jojo on

So exciting to see and talk to you both - that was a real bonus for the big O and I - sorry he didn't have much to say - he burbled away after you had hung up. If mean Mikie won't let you take that train Polly make sure he makes up for it on 4th! Had a jolly nice walk to Windward once I had worked out the mechanics of the push chair (you need a degree in enginering to sort it out!) and a well deserved coffe with Tricia and Olaf received his very colourful boots that Dan had bought him in Nepal.

Has the weather improved at all - the weather maps that appear in your neck of the woods don't look all that promising and it's amazing how everything looks so much better for a bit of sun shine so hope it's coming your way.

P&E if you are reading this just to let you know Amanda and Domonic are toying with the idea of perhaps visiting you over half term.

All love Jojo and Christopher

triciagick on

Great to talk to you today and see you so happy. Thought I's just check out my new profile picture - two sweet little children who were shouting out to me by the Seti river. I think I may get a record for the shortest travel blog with the most profiles - a record of some kind! X

betty on

I'm so glad you've got through the last couple of weeks safely. What a journey! I do hope that you're in for an easier time ahead. It's nerve wracking enough reading about it all!
Look forward to your next blogs. Carry on taking care of yourselves and each other. Love Betty

Robin & Antoinette on

Just absolutely love your blog and in total awe of your achievements so far.
Can't say exactly how many punctures to date but noticed it appeared to be related to total number of randoms in your taxis for any given country. Needs further study. Love from us both and all good wishes for the rest of the the leg down to Vietnam.

Debbie on

Hello I am in this horrid place called Jacksonville and been reading blog on my phone for a half hour now, I have been worrying could I manage to do a triathlon ... 20 mile bike ride, tough... Well now ashamed of myself so may have to give it a go in your honour, pikey you have inspired me x x

Lindy on

I am exhausted - just spent the last hour? catching up on your travels through China - amazing - you deserve medals. Really looking forward to hearing about Vietnam - had a long chat with Trica the other day - planning to work on John & Alan re us having a holiday in Vietnam - John did look a tad surprised at the idea!!!!!
Take care and hope you have a relaxing birthday tomorrow Polly - all love Lindy

Jojo on

Happy Birthday Polly whereever you are!!!!!
Mums and Dads still not connected to internet but are on the case.

Lots of loe to you both Jojo ad Christopher

Olaf on

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Polly!!! hope you have the most wonderful day - just remembering this time last year! crazy what can happen and be achieved in a year!

Lindy on

Happy birthday Polly - hope you are having a day off to celebrate
All love Lindy

Charlotte on

Happy Birthday Polly!! Hope you have a fabulous day. Will make sure we have a drink for you here. Lots of love xxxxx

triciagick on

Mother finally back on line! Would have loved to catch you today but Hey Ho. Hope the boat journey gets you to the border in time - any trouble with the authorities tell them they'll have to deal with me!!! Tons of love Polly Poo - what an amazing couple of birthdays you've had over the past years - life too busy to be boring.
Take care you two xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ernest on

Just for a change why not pop out for a Chinese!
As always, take great care,

Tom and Lau on

Happy Birthday Polly!! hope you having a fantastic day and that Michael is spoiling you rotten!!. Just been looking at all your photos, you both look great : ) take care, lots of love Tom and Lau xxxxx

auntbymarriage on

Polly polly polly!!!!!!! Am I too late to wish you happy birthday!?!XXXXX Anyway happy birthday - hope that you're being spoilt. This blog is fantastic but am now going to try to find Newton's. Take care.XXXXXXXXXX

newtonandkiri on

Happy Birthday Polly from everyone here in Norfolk. Hope you had a magnificent day. We'll have a piece of cake for you tomorrow :-) Lots of love, wags and hugs xxxxxx

sandrarackham on

Happy birthday Polly Hope you enjoyed your day Much love to you both Sandra x x x x

triciagick on

Great to hear you have made it to Vietnam - China is a place you certainly won't forget! Looking forward to hear ing where you settle for your day off - my Map takes you as far as Ha Noi and I have ordered one from Amazon for after that. Let me know if you want Dan to bring out any other maps for the future. Well done you two and tons of love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

jojo on

What a relief to hear you have crossed the border - awaiting with baited breath to hear how this was achieved! T and I knocked the crossword off this morning over the usual coffee, toast and marmalade.

Lots love jojo and Christopher

Ray on

Hope you had a nice b-day Polly! Love Ray & Dave xxx

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