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…)