18.12.2007 - 18.12.2007
We are in Wuzhou! The first two days went smoothly although admitted with some saddle pain...... We did not even get lost, or at least not really. B's Cantonese proves useful although he has already been told that he has a horrible Hong Kong accent.
China is shocking us as it usually does. You can fool yourself you are living in China when you are in Hong Kong but just travel 100km out and you know it isn't true. We spend the first night in Zhaoqing which we suspect was beautiful but the "mist" prevented us from seeing the famous lake and mountains. After 4.5 years in Hong Kong we do no longer belief in something as innocent as morning mist......... and stinging eyes and sore throats confirmed this was some pretty bad polution indeed. It stayed with us much through the first day, a 105 km trip to Decheng along the Pearl river. Again we did not see much of the river nor the mountains beside it as sight was limited to about 500m. The bikes are holding up great and start to look dirty and old as they should.
Today we took a little ferry to the other side of the river. We had been cycling on a local highway the day before and although it was totally doable; not too much traffic and a very good road, we were longing for a bit more local local roads and scenery. We kept following the river for most of the day. We took a noodle break in Junan and asked for the way to Wuzhou. Two people simultaneouly and very convincingly pointed in two opposite directions.... only to decide a fraction later that indeed both were possible. Unfortunately we could not quite understand the rapid explanation that followed so we just chose what looked to be a more quiet route. It turned out to lead us to another ferry so back we went over the river and back to our lovely highway....
Now we are in Wuzhou, checked into a hotel (we should not have worried about finding hotels, there are more than plenty and they all think it is perfectly normal that we take the bikes up to our room) and are exploring. This is actually a quite nice city........ it is a surprise to us too, we are travelling without a guidebook so have no clue what our daily destinations actually have to offer. We just choose them by size and disctance. Anyway, the few streets that we have seen so far look nice with some old buildings and street markets. We may even stay here for a day and take some rest.