Episode 1: Riding along the Western Sichuan-Tibet Highway
18 may 2010 – today is the first day of my ride. without having experience riding in china, i ride alone from chengdu city to qionglai with the distance of 105km. nothing interesting today, as i passed by a few smaller towns, quite heavy traffic, very dusty, heavily polluted! after had a light breakfast in a muslim restaurant near the grand mosque in chengdu, i started to cycle at around 10 am.
i stopped a few times for a drink, lunch and also get close to the locals! everywhere i go, i attract attentions. when i went to a restaurant, and told the waitress that i could barely speak mandarin and im from malaysia, everybody, like everyone… in the restaurant looking at me. and they started talking to me and laughing. they came to my table, and started to speak mandarin to me as if im chinese. i told em “wo ting pu tong” (i dont understand), they laughed and continue talking to me. again i told em “wo ting pu tong”, and they never gave up, and continue talking to me! goshhhhh… dont they understand that i dont speak mandarin???
when i stopped for lunch, a group of old chinese men invited me to join them. i then told them, “jintian, wo yao qu qionglai” (today im going to qionglai). “mingtian, wo qu ya’an” (tomorrow ill go ya’an). i didnt even told em im going to russia, i only told them that im riding all the way into pakistan. i told em, after litang, im heading to xining in qinghai, then to urumqi in xinjiang, then kashgar, then pakistan. i also told em im riding bicycle alone. they said that im a hero… bcoz im one brave creature. hehehe. even most ppl in chengdu said that, even the mat sallehs. they said im one crazy malaysian. mmmm… maybe i gave em the impression that we malaysians are crazy? :)
i reached qionglai around 5pm! yea yea im slow… but keep in mind i was carrying heavy backpack, and i stopped few times!! im tired, very tired as today is my first ride. gonna sleep early today, as tomorrow im riding another 75km before reaching ya’an!
19 may 2010 – 2nd day of my ride! today, while being lazy, i started to ride at around 11.20! since its never sunny here in sichuan province, i can ride anytime of the day without have to worry about the hot weather like in malaysia :) Today is harder than yesterday. even tho its only 75km, gosh it took me nearly 6 hours to complete the ride! Many hills to climb! i stopped few times, being so lazy, watching the view, passing by many small towns and farms. along the way, so many ppl waved at me and said, “Hello!”, me, “Hello!”, them, “Welcome to China!”, me, “Xie xie!”. I didnt stop for lunch today… as im lazy hehehe. coz of that, i got tired faster and i reached Ya’an around 5+. Along the way, i saw a convoy some 8-10 bikers on superbikes. and… theyre all young girls… and… theyre hotttt!!!!! there was a car following them and a guy was shooting video, maybe it is for some tv programme. And he shot me while riding as well. maybe im gonna appear on China tv uh? :))
Ya’an town mmmm….
Ya’an is a small town, maybe like our Seremban?…. but sooo crowded in here. While searching for a backpacker hostel, i met a chinese student, he speaks english and he helped me to find a cheap one. its very near his uni and we had dinner together. dangg hes so helpful and a very nice boy. i call him “hai yang” and tomorrow he wants to bring me around town. He even said if i want to go to his uni and teach english? hehe… i told him i had enuff of teaching, i taught computer animation for few yrs back in kl, now i would like to take a year off :) plus, i dont consider my english level is good. its only below average. oh… he even lend me his laptop so that i can use the internet. how convenient… chinese hospitality here in china!!