This section from Jinping to Manhao is the seventh instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

People watching over the mountains
People watching over the mountains

I’m having some motivational issues this morning. I woke up at 5 but didn’t feel like getting out of bed at all. It’s partially the delightful bed, the air-con exactly at 20 degrees and the absence of any noise outside. But who am I kidding, the real issue is obviously the hangover. On the other hand, however, it’s thanks to last night’s early drinking that I’m able to wake up early and write the last two posts.

When I finally leave, it’s 11:30. The owner personally bids me farewell and so I deduce that I haven’t been terribly misbehaving myself yesterday night. We discuss quantities of fruit and then routes to get to today’s target, Manhao (three spellings, used seemingly randomly: 蛮耗, 曼耗 and 蔓耗). Without prompt, he informs me that the old road is good enough to ride on, that there are less cars and more views and that it’s therefore preferable to the new road. This man understands me! I wonder if he’s a rider too. (more…)

This section from Mengla to Jinping is the sixth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Mengla 猛拉 on the Jinshuihe River 金水河
Mengla 猛拉 on the Jinshuihe River 金水河

 Good morning! Could’ve done with better sleep, but such are banana towns: it’s never really quiet anywhere. Even the air-con talked to me all night. Thanks to that same air-con, though, my clothes are almost entirely dry. I washed them yesterday because they were stained with salt and sweat. A quick peek through the broken hotel window reveals that tonight I’ll be doing the same thing.

Beautiful weather! And the forecast said rain! I pack up and get on the bike, stop for a morning rice noodle and then set all sails for the Vietnamese border. There’s an official border crossing there, but it’s not open to third-country underlings. My reason for going is that there’s a tiny tiny road that runs all along the border, looping around a few mountains before reaching today’s destination of Jinping 金平 (“golden peace”). While planning, I’d peeked at the satellite image and the road gleamed like it’s a concrete road, a cyclist’s dream. Even if it’s dirt, it surely beats riding on the new road. Or does it? (more…)