Todays ride was very short for me. We did only 55km today as i had 3 flat tyre today! Luckily i bought 5 tubes in total when i was in Xining! We were climbing for 15km at first before we found a place to rest and lunch. Took an hour rest, then climbed another 15km before i had my first puncture. Changed to a new tube, cycled again only for few more kilometres before i discover that the back tyre was flatten again! I was so pissed because i was so tired and my hands were so painful because the skin is so dry! I didnt change to a new tube, but just repair it because i was so tired and decided to change the tube once we find a place to camp. After done repairing, we then climbed all the way to the top (we were cycling to a mountain pass at 3560m altitude).Once i reached the top, Nancy was so far behind i couldnt see her so i just stop there to wait for her. While i was taking a rest, I was shocked to see my back tyre was flatten again! Arghh…. i then changed to another new tube, and i was so angry while changing it, blaming the road hehehe. After that it was an easy ride. We rode some 15km down from 3560m altitude to some 3100m altitude before we discovered a few restaurants along the roadside. We then took dinner there and camped nearby.
I feel so good here. I feel like a celebrity cycling here in northern China. Everybody is curious and want to take photographs with me. The locals, tourists, construction workers, road builders, bikers, police, China army…. u name it! There was 1 time that i was shocked because a police car passed by and ask me to stop. I thought they wanna stop me because i do something wrong, but they stopped me just because they want to be photographed with me! I dont really mind when ppl stopped me from cycling, because Nancy was far behind me and i have to wait for her anyway.
After like 2 days cycling in the desert, we were happy to find out theres a town some 40km ahead. We then cycled fast to the town, hoping to get some food and water supply. When we saw the town from far, our hope went to the drain when we discovered that the town is nothing more than just a dead… abandon town. It looks scary like a haunted town. Looks exactly like a movie, where this town looks like a town that just got attacked by some deadly earthquake or something. The buildings were destroyed, really look abandoned. Suddenly we saw 2 ghosts! We rode to them and discovered that they were actually humans! I seriously dont know what are they doing here, but thank god they have food so we had some instant noodle and water. Took a rest there for nearly 2 hours before we rode another 30km to a campsite.
Believe it or not, im still sick now and Im resting in a small lonely town in the desert called Dachaidan. And i just got some info that when ure at high altitude, its hard to recover once u get sick. Ahhh… no wonder. Usually it takes me 4-5 days to recover from fever if i never take any medicine. But this time its longer… a week already and im still sick. Doesnt matter.. its not too bad. My body temperature is okay, just that im coughing so badly and its annoying. So we took a 2 days rest in Dachaidan, before cycling another 340km to Dunhuang, the Silk Road Oasis Town.
Todays ride, i got my 3rd flat tyre! The first one happened when i was on my way to Maniganja, and the second when i was riding with Nancy to Chaka from Qinghai Lake. The best thing was, all my repair tools were on Nancy’s bike. We did this because i want her to carry the light bags, and i carry all the heavy ones. When i stopped, she just passed by me and just ignore me completely when i told her to stop. Then, she kept on riding! I shouted at her… as loud as i can. And this girl, was so selamba, just kept riding! Alamak minah ni… i guess she was listening to her ipod la. Okay.. doesnt matter. I have a spare tube on my front bag and an airpump on my bike. But it gonna be tough without all the tools… so i have to use my fingers. Awww… sexyy!!!
So there u go! In the middle of nowhere, under the extremely hot sun, i have to change the tube without my tools. Nice! It took me a long time, because i have to take off all the luggage first, then change the tube, and assemble all the luggage again on my bike. Took me at least 25 mins to do that. Plus im still a bit sick, i still continue my ride today because im so lazy to layan the demam. Finally after Im almost done, a chinese rider with a cute scooter, fancy helmet and a fancy jacket suddenly stopped by. I thought he gonna help me out… but actually… he just asked me where i started my ride… and where im going. Then… he took some pictures with me, again and again. I guess he took more than 10 pics with me… with different kind of pose each picture! This dude is funny. He speaks a little english. And without offering any help… he finally went back to his scooter… and said, Jia you Malaysia! Then he went off. Hehe.. funny guy.
We did only 75km today. It was kinda tough… at least for me. Im not fully recover yet. And the first 50km of our ride today…. was evil! It was a long climb! I didnt expect that. From 2845m altitude from our last stop, we went as high as 3710m altitude thru that 50km long! After that it was downhill all the way until 3240m altitude at where we are camping now. But only the first 15km was good. After that… the wind was so strong blowing against our direction, slowed us down and we had to pedal hard even tho it was downhill. So after 75km ride, we found a nice spot to camp, we were hungry, and it is time to feast some oats! :)
Everybody here is curious especially at me. When i reached this town, people surrounded me… touching my bike, touching my luggage, watching my every move. It reminds me when i took bus from Kengtung in Myanmar to the Thailand border years ago. Everybody in the bus kept on watching me without feeling bored. Well, now Im kinda used to it. This small town is very peaceful, quiet, far from pollution. People here are laidback and always smile. Its mixed of the Hui Muslims and the Mongols. It is just a one street town, maybe some 500m town. Its hot here and I look weird with my winter jacket, because im still sick and feeling cold now.