The journey will be short enough to Mengla and we are pretty certain that the town will provide us with a decent selection of cafe's and hostels. We are due a rest day so we will have to see what the town holds for us,,,,
The motorway is littered with huge tunnels. We are so happy that The Chinese Road Authorities decide to go through mountains as opposed to around them/up them in Laos. We are a little sceptical as to whether we should be cycling on the highways...But hey, the roads are really good and they are flat. Some valleys around us have suffered from alot of deforestation but this is quickly forgotten about when we observe some beautiful farming land which is terraced right up on the side of the hills. This guys are masters of irrigation...The rice fields around us are pretty class to be fair.
When we reach Mengla, we are amazed that it is packed with shops....There is a marked absense of cafe's of any kind which gives us the sense that this town will defintalty proove to be a disappointment. We book into a hotel where they bizarrely place us on the very top floor (no lifts here). Moving our gear up 5 flights of break-your-neck stairs was great fun though!!!!
There is a little problem with ATM's here....They dont apear to accept international cards....They take 6 digit pin numbers and we quickly realise that getting money here will be an ordeal....We have enough yuan to see us through to the next town and we discuss the logistics about taking a rest day here at all...We shall have a think about it and decide to-night.
We were pretty hungry by this stage so we decided to get some street food. This experience proved to be very costly indeed. Our street vendor...(Lets name the guy Richard)...proceeded to disregard our initial order of 2 meat sqewers each by placing at least 16-20 on his mobile BBQ. The meat arrived down to us peppered in every spice available in China. The meat was also rubber in texture and we wonderded what type of animal had been sqewered at all!!!!!!!
When it came to payment, things got heated with the street vendor demanding 48 Yuan for the meal. After much tension and a bit of a crowd looking at us, we decided to pay the man, place our tails between our legs and move on. Gutted that we got conned, we try to look for a Chinese Restaurant. We eventually stumble upon a family run place and have the meal of our lives. This meal was about 9 courses, cost about 50 yuan and made our street food experience even more painfull!!!
Tonight we have decided to head out for a good few drinks. We havent been properly out "on the tiles" in a long time either so we decide to head to a decent wateringhole. One problem, their isn't any!!!!!!
Every place we try is pretty much a karaoke bar, dissected off into rooms for about 10 or more people to go in and have a laugh with each other in true Chinese karaoke fashion. We asked could we join in with another crowd but unfortunately, most of the owners could not see it working out!!!!!!
So with our singing voices intact (and possible our integrities!!!) we head back to the hotel cursing our bad luck. Another day awaits tomorrow and we pray that our next destination (Jinghong) will finally throw a bit of luck our way. With this hope in our minds, we take off our makeup, put on our night gowns and slip into our beds.....
Talk to you all tomorrow..