New Year's Eve Again
Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
360Trip End Aug 21, 2011
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Setting off in the sunshine was great, and although we had some pretty steep uphill on our way to Tonghai, it felt so good to finally take off the waterproof coats we didn’t mind. The locals were clearly in full holiday mode, with all the children dressed up and everyone out and about buying mad foods. Loads of poor chicken being carried around by their feet, on their way to the pot. Tonghai was a big town, but once again we found it very difficult to find food other than noodles which we had just had for breakfast
We had decided to sneak back onto the expressway and hope not to get chucked off as the other road was 18k longer. They waved us through at the toll gate, so we set off quickly. After a steep uphill, we found the amazing 18km downhill sign, I’d seen on the other cyclist’s blog. Brilliant! We had spectacular views for the rest of the day, and although we started to feel pretty exhausted by the end of the day, cycling in good weather has really given us a boost. Cycling into towns at sunset the last two nights has also been beautiful.
Jainshui was not as large as we had hoped and the town was surprisingly empty. They had a ridiculously pimped looking hotel however and we decided to check it out. As usual, it was insanely cheap – £13 for a twin with an incredible shower. There was some confusion with the reception desk who didn’t speak any English and were really dappy, but using the Mandarin phrasebook we eventually ended up in our lovely room. By the time we had showered, it was already late. We saw in the news that tonight was in fact New Year’s Eve, and that the celebrations began at 8pm. Sure enough, 10 minutes later, we could hear the fireworks start.
I showed the woman at reception 'Where can I find places to eat?’ and she said ‘NO!’. Hoping she was wrong we set off into town. In the street it was ridiculous
It was 9pm when we got back and we had to show the woman at the desk ‘I’m starving!’. She offered us some cakes she’d clearly bought for New Year, but didn’t seem inclined to get the hotel to cook us something. We headed back to the room and had to make do with pot noodles again – rubbish, but at least they always have them. On the way to the room, we stopped at the hotel bar to get some beers. It was also a Karaoke centre and the barman showed us a family celebrating New Year in a booth listening to the Dad sing REALLY badly. Very odd.
Totally exhausted, there was no way we were going to stay up for New Year and we soon collapsed despite the loud noises outside. Two hours later however I woke to what sounded like cannon fire. At the window we could see fireworks being set off literally everywhere over the whole city, it was completely unreal really, and honestly sounded like the city was being bombed. Very spectacular. After watching for 10 minutes, we put our pillows over our heads and tried to get back to sleep!