Thursday, 1 January 2015

Cycling through Clouds in Central Asia: A Good Evening; Today: 84 km; Total: 3214 km

July 4, 2014

After sleeping well and eating good breakfast (omelette), we were on the road. Soon, we were in a town on our way. It was crowded and polluted. We had to bike 30 km west to get out of this town.

One of the things that I will always remember about China is the pollution, all kinds: air, noise, water, etc. When you ride in China, at least in the parts I have been, you constantly get something, a small particle in your eyes, most probably a tiny piece of coke. Yo also get them all over your hand, face, head, everywhere. When trucks pass you by, you should get ready to get a layer of these small particles peppered on you.

Another thing that I will never forget is the different kinds of chemicals that I had to smell as I was riding, some of which were disgusting. If I were biking alone, I would skip this part and get a bus.

After riding for 38 km, the head wind got so strong that it was not worth doing 10 km/h, so we went to a grocery shop and had a pop. The owner gave us some ice cream for free. We sat there for an hour, but when we rode 50 km, we stopped again, and had a watermelon, coffee, and instant noodle for lunch. We took a long break because of the head wind.

At 3, we started again with me cutting the wind and Fausto following. At one point, a big truck slowly passed by. I speeded up and stayed right behind it. Boy! It was so easy to ride behind it. I was doing 40 km/h. Fausto was a little slow to harness the chance. After 10-7 km, the truck stopped, and I waited for Fausto. We soon got to a town, bought groceries, and three big bottles of beer from an interesting Bazar. Then, as usual, we found a spot to camp. We had rice, chicken and salad for dinner. We need a wash badly? We were dirty. All over our body there were small black particles. I got all our empty bottles of water, and hit the road in search of water. I would even go to people and beg water if I had to. I needed a wash, period.

I took the dirty dishes with me. I rode for ten minutes when I saw a well, behind which I found clean cold water coming slowly out of a big plastic pipe. I filled the bottles, and washed the dishes. I was so happy and relieved to have found this super clean water. Excited, I rode back to Fausto and shared my six litters of water with him. We took a shower with it. No one would understand how refreshing it was to shower with this three litters--no one. Later on, I thought to myself ... How little can make us so happy and excited! On this trip, when we find a market where we can get tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and some pasta, thats enough to make us happy. Or when we are able to find a camping spot where we can wash our faces and dishes, we are so relaxed.  

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