3 days ride from Kangding to Litang is tough but fun. On the first day i only did 46km. Couldnt take it anymore, i was climbing all the way. Oh and this time… i surrendered. i pushed my bike countless times! i even gave up pushing my bike! the road was so steep and i was at 4400m of altitude! I even had problem breathing at some point, so i stopped pushing and took an hour rest. The second day was better. mostly going up and down, some flat land. i did over 80km this time! but i was dangerously riding along the cloud level, couldnt see a thing, everything was so foggy and all out of a sudden, i saw a bus coming towards me! Visibility was poor while riding the cloud level. i was sooo… afraid! But i got excited, as ive seen more and more tibetan villages along my way. Im getting closer to her!
The last day of my ride, is the ultimatum. Mostly going downhill, i was riding on average 40 km/hour, and only in around 4 hours, i covered easily 150 km! Passed by so many beautiful views, Im finally… in Tibetan Plateau! Finally today, I made it to Tibet, this place has been lifting up her skirt for me, teasing me for years since i was a kid, now shes in front of me… 1 on 1 :) Even on flat road, i easily cycled at 25-30 km/hour. At some point i calculated, i was only like 20km away from Litang, and it was only 2pm. Litang is getting nearer and nearer every minute, and i think, whats the rush? since its going mostly downhill, i took the advantage of staying off the road. Took a lot of landscape pictures and even those cute Tibetan kids.
I also met a yak herder. He invited me to his tent, ate some tibetan food and drank some yak milk. mmmm… free lunch.. good energy source. This dude doesnt even speak mandarin, he speaks only tibetan, and I told him im from malaysia but…. im not really sure if he even know that malaysia is a country. Well i hope he knows. The younger brother (the one wearing yellow) was so amazed at me, he just couldnt get his eyes off me. Funny… and he even came and touched my skin. Maybe hed seen a few mat sallehs, but never see a brown boy from the southeast of asia? :) Im the only melayu sesat around here anyway. Hehe. i stopped many times after few hours of mostly downhill riding, i was so “jakun” with the landscape.
1 think i realized being in the highland of tibet, since its summer now, the days are longer. It was already bright at around 5am, and still bright at 8.30pm. Mampus kalau kene puasa kat sini hehe. As i continue riding, i saw Litang from far. Ahhaaa.. finally.. after nearly 2 weeks of tough riding…. today, is victory for me. Looks like a sexy little tibetan town from far, i decided to spend time watching the sunset on the hills. Looked for a nice spot to rest, took photographs and enjoyed the view for hours waiting for sunset. It was a great moment, as i always love this kind of view. I stayed for hours on the hill watching the view while listening to my ipod until at 1 point, i fell asleep lol! The wind was cold and it was so refreshing! Im just short of 1 thing, it was a great moment, but i couldnt share it with anyone. Uhh… im all alone… and at this moment… i felt a little lonely…
The ride from Luding to Kangding, hmmm i underestimated this ride too much. I thought it gonna be easy, only 52km away, and I thought, Kangding is only 2100m altitude. I was sitting at 1380m altitude in Luding, so i calculated, that 52km, i only need to climb 700m vertically. Piece of cake. The first 20km was easy, flat road, lalala… i took my own sweet time, took an unnecessary rest. Right after i passed a small village, there was a steep climb. Ah well, only 700 meters vertically… i climbed climbed climbed and climbed… I checked and it was already 2040m altitude… and the road.. is still going uphill… steep! Eh, then i started to think, how high is Kangding? Oh man… that last 30km was tough! I wasnt prepared, and i read wrongly. I then stop for lunch, took the map, oh gosh… Kangding is 2620m altitude! I then rode slowly, and I reached Kangding at around 6! It was already drizzling that time. I then told myself, “Gila punya gunung!” Right after i found a cheap guesthouse, it rained heavily. Pheww.. lucky me. The room i got was very nice, comfortable, and nearby a muslim restaurant! Time to feast some beef and rice!!!
Kangding, a sexy town sitting at 2620m of altitude, also surrounded by mountains, but bcoz of the high altitude, the temperature is below 15c. I could see more tibetan than chinese here, I could hear more “tashi delek” than “ni hao”, and more “thoo jaychai” than “xie xie”. I realized that Tibetans are rough, unlike the chinese. Their skin is darker, look a bit like malay, but not as sexy :) On my first day, I felt so lazy, didnt even take my bike, i just walked, wandering around this town. I then discovered theres a mountain, Paoma Shan nearby, and theres 2 way to go to top. U can either hike or take the cable car. annddd… i took the cable car lol. Coz i felt so lazy, and my legs still hurt from yesterday’s ride.
On the second day, it was raining. Goood… time to feed my laziness!! Its so good to be in foreign country where nobody understands u. Everytime i passed by young pretty girls, i can simply say “Hello my love”, and they just smiled without knowing what i was saying haha. Its Friday now, and today i visited the mosque for Friday prayers. Hmmm theres not much, probably around 20-25 chinese muslims here in Kangding that performed the Friday prayers. I was fascinated to hear the kuthbah in chinese language, and to hear them reading the Quran. When i entered the mosque, everybody looking at me. Again i attract attentions. Honestly i dont see many chinese muslims, as its hard to find chinese muslims back in Malaysia. But there are many chinese muslims here in China, especially in Qinghai and Xinjiang (Im heading there soon). Hearing them reading the Al-Fatihah during the prayer, a bit with the chinese dialect, I was amazed, a new experience to me. After the prayer, they invited me for lunch and as usual, i speak in English and they replied back in Mandarin, and we understood each other perfectly what we were trying to say. Magical! Its raining the whole day today and I dont have any plan to go out today, as i need to save up energy for tomorrow’s ride! Ill be riding to Litang tomorrow, through remote areas in China, and wont be having internet connection for days until i reach Litang! So this might be my last entry for the month. Zai jian!
When i first arrived here, i discovered that the only place to stay here in Luding is Luding Hotel. Theres no backpackers room here! Single room is 180 yuan and thats the cheapest. Gosh! Thats 90 ringgit our money! Then theres a couple, husband n wife saw me and start speaking mandarin to me. hehe i find it funny when they speak mandarin and i replied back in english.. but somehow we managed to understand each other. It happens a lot since im here in china.. its magical! They actually offered me to stay in their house, ah as usual, i took the opportunity. Staying in a hotel is comfortable, but wasting my money and i will get lonely. Im not gonna pay 180 yuan just to bath and sleep! Thats stupid! So i follow them to their house, theyre living in a flat, its dirty and… uhh… i should stop complaining…
When i reached their house, they have a son, at about 10-12 yrs old. He was excited to learn that Im gonna stay in their house for few days. I paid them 30 yuan a night. Since they let me stayed with them, I became an entertainer. I entertain them, teach their son some english, show them my travel pics. They were not so interested on China pics but instead they like it so much when i showed them pictures of KL, all around Malaysia and even Indonesia. Still, I find it funny, theyre speaking mandarin and i speak English, but somehow we understand each other. Hehe…
Luding, is just a small town stucked between mountains. Been surrounded by mountains, this town is peaceful. But of course there are still a lot of spitting and honking here. This town is half Han Chinese and half Tibetan. Almost every shops and restaurants, there are both Mandarin and Tibetan writings. People here are friendly but dogs are everywhere.
The family who hosted me was very nice. The daughter even washed my clothes! Theyre nice people… but poor. Imagine what i ate during my stay? Only plain white rice… yup… with nothing else. only white rice. i have no appetite but i have to eat anyway. Need energy for the tough ride today. Well im not complaining… they have been so nice to me.. its just that i feel worried, that i wont have energy for todays ride since ive no appetite. Ive been in the same situation years ago in Myanmar, but i took bus back then… this time.. im cycling. I think i need to pack a lot of snickers and milk next time. After saying good bye to them… i started my tough ride today…
Toughest Ride Today!!!!
Today i cycled to Luding, 80km away. It was tough.. very tough, and i tell you… riding up to fraser hills is nothing… compared to this! Again, i climbed 50km… but it was much tougher compared to my last ride. My last stop was 1105m of altitude, and i rode all the way up for 50km to 2300m of altitude! Started to ride at around 9.30 am, an hour after i had my bfast, and guess what… i took my first rest after 20 mins of riding lol! i was climbing all the way! Plus, i couldnt find a good restaurant along the way, i only ate instant noodle for lunch lol! very sexy huh? Oh and this time… i gave up. for the first time, i pushed my bike haha. i think i did it like 4-5 times. :p
Besides the tough climb, todays ride is dangerous. The road is narrow, so many buses and lorries passed by. Scary… and 1 hour of riding, i went to a tunnel, between 500-800 meters long, and it was so dark. Very the gelap gelita… very the scary and of course… very sexy!! I waited for a lorry to pass by, and i rode right behind the lorry… because i couldnt see a thing inside that tunnel. Crazy, i was just hoping the road isnt slippery, couldnt see the road. Oh and that wasnt the only tunnel, after 50km of climbing the mountains with my bike… theres another one… a huuugeee one!! But luckily, this huge tunnel has lights. It wasnt dark.. but.. its 3km long!! I had no other choice… and i went through this tunnel…
Riding Under the Ray of Light!
After this tunnel, theres another 2km of climbing, then, its downhill all the way! From 2300m altitude, i rode down another 30km to Luding, which sits at 1380m of altitude. It was so good that i dont need to pedal, time to rest my legs! I rode fast at about 50-60km/hr! The feeling was so good, after 8 hours of hardwork climbing mountains, this is my reward. Riding under the ray of light, with a breathtaking view, oh and the fresh air, i felt like im living my dream! even tho for a while. As i continue riding and watching the view, i didnt even bother to stop to take photographs. It will spoil the ride hehe. But then i think, oh okay, maybe 1, so that i would remember this ride forever. But the picture poorly describes my feelings while riding down the mountain.
Something about the boy…
The sky is blue. Its sunny today. Its a sign that i should leave ya’an. After had breakfast with Haiyang, he said good bye and told me he gonna miss me. He told me when im gone, he will feel lonely. Gosh i will miss this boy too. Very good hearted person, very sincere, very helpful and ask nothing in return. for example, last nite he came to my room to help translate the map into english. i told him, uhhh…. i need water. then suddenly he ran away from my room, i was puzzled. where is this dude goin??? 2 mins later, he came back with a bottle of water. oh my… he went to a shop to buy me water. and it is sad to learn that he will feel lonely when im gone. i understand his feeling. as im a loner too, always feeling lonely my whole life. after saying good bye, suddenly he decided to ride with me 1/2 way. lol… i agreed and we rode together all the way to a place called Tianquan, some 35km away from Ya’an. after had lunch and a long talk, we finally said goodbye for real, and shake hands. He took a bus back to Ya’an, and i continue to ride to Xin’gou, some 70km away.
The ride mmmmmm…..
Today’s ride was really challenging. From Ya’an to Tianquan, its flat road, but very dusty, heavy traffic, construction everywhere!! After Tianquan, less traffic, no pollution but…. i started to ride along the mountains. Imagine climbing 50km with fully loaded bicycle!! Riding up to fraser hills back in Malaysia is nothing compared to this. Took me over 5 hours to complete this 50km of climbing! i was riding very slow, 10km/hour! very very tiring, stopped every 20-30 mins. i didnt even bother to take photos, as i was tired and lazy. passed by so many beautiful views, but i only took some pics to share. hehe. Xin’gou is 70km away from Tianquan… and guess what… i didnt make it to Xin’gou today lol!! Reason why i wanna pedal to Xin’gou today is bcoz they have a lot of cheap guesthouses there. But it was almost dark, and i still had another 20km to climb! 20km is nothing if its a flat road, but i was climbing hills, 20km will take me at least another 2 1/2 hrs or maybe 3 hours to reach, as i already pedal almost the whole day, so im getting slower and slower. I then passed by a very old house, and asked the owner wether i can sleep in his house for a night or two. He agreed, maybe as i look tired. I then took a l0ng shower and guess what, they have a hot daughter. the daughter is so nice, so friendly to me even tho she doesnt speak english. She cooked dinner for me mmmmmm. Language barrier is the main problem but it doesnt stop us from chatting. Hmm maybe its a good thing i didnt make it to Xin’gou today? theheheheh…..