Qinzhou

Sunday 10th February 2019, Qinzhou.

First day in China successfully completed. But it has definitely been a day and a half. I knew there was a long ride ahead of me plus getting across the border and working out how everything functioned in a new and very different country.

SUCCESSES
Getting into China, the visa was accepted, they even laughed at me!
GPS Garmin and Maps.me both work.
Managed to change some currency at the border, in a shop! Couldn’t find any ATMs.
Easily found my hotel

CHALLENGES
At the start Maps.me took me to an old border crossing no longer used. Ended up with an unnecessary 10 km detour losing nearly an hour in the process.
A couple of roads I had hoped to cycle on banned bicycles. Had to find alternative, longer routes involving manual navigation
Police had a permanent checkpoint on one of the roads. I was pulled over. They scanned my passport. Seemed they were doing this with all foreigners though not just me. Concentrates the mind when the policeman photocopying my passport has a rifle dangling from his neck.
Checking into the hotel was an interesting experience. They hadn’t picked up the online booking so weren’t expecting me. No-one spoke any English so communication was all through Google Translator.
115km ride with panniers fully laden with food and water so as self sufficient.

 

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You shall not pass!

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Serve yourself hotpot. I could get used to this.
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A Chinese long distance cyclist. We couldn’t understand a word each other was saying! But great to meet. He was 69 by the way, he showed me his ID card. Made me feel a youngster.

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