We decide to get up and head to Jinghong at 7am. The journey, although mostly flat is still over 100km. The shops here prove to yield better supplies than in Laos, so we stock up on bread, cheese, rasin cakes and these delicious honey rice bars which we keep stumbling across. Our supplies make us a little more confident that China should be ok for bike food/camping supplies.
The route is pretty similar to yesterdays and we put in 23km per hour stints easily. There are some minor towns leading to Jinghong, one of such, we stop at to get some water, fresh fruit and nuts. The traffic on these roads is pretty mad, with it being the a road requirment to "honk" when you are approaching/or passing out all forms of transport on your side of the road. Must be some sort of an early warning/prevention system.
Our bikes are also beginning to look fairly weathered at this stage. We last gave them a once over back in Vang Vieng and we reckon they are due another service very soon. We shall be putting up some pics of our gear/our equipment very soon so keep your eyes pealed for that..
This very helpful man guided us out of Mengla, he was the only english
speaker we found here
We reach Jinghong for about 4ish. The first thing we notice is backpackers....We are bloody delighted to see this as we can finally chat to some English speakers. Jinghong is a really vibrant place and is loaded with really great cafe's and restuarants which have English menus and Wi-Fi. This is very welcomed news and should set up a rest day or two here very nicely indeed. We also quickly figure out that it is the eve of The Chinese New Year when explosions (I am not kidding) of fireworks and crackers go off every couple of minutes. They have to be the loudest things we have ever heard making conversation next to impossible...Crazy stuff altogether!!!!!
Happy New Year, again!
We pearch ourselves in the Mei Mei Cafe and order everthing from Chicken Corden Bleu to Pork chops. We also catch up with some emails using our mini computer and a healthy supply of Wi-Fi.
Tomorrow and possibly the next day, we have some serious planning to do. It has become apparent to us that our hopes of cycling in Tibet at this time of the year are pretty unrealistic (Minus 30 degrees unrealistic) with some peaks climbing 6,000m. Coupled with these slight oxegen starving inconveniances, there are some paperwork/permit issues with gaining entry overland from China into Tibet.....
It is a real pity that our initial Thailand to Myanmar into India route was not possible. On the flip side we have got to cycle all Northern Thailand, Laos and now China so although we feel hampered having to take a long route around bypassing Burma/Myanmar, we have taken so many great experiences from these countries. There is no doubt that getting up to Tibet will prove problematic...but one thing that we are sure off from speaking to many professional cyclists..is that cycling at this time of the year may kill us. Taking this on board we shall explore every last possibility of getting into Tibet and possibly Katmandu with our bikes.
Therefore these 2 days or more will pretty much be crucial in deciding our route going forward. Our routes have been pretty much ad-libed since our beginning some 25 odd days ago in Bangkok so we now have to be a way more critical and decisive in terms of our routes going forward and in particular with our personal safety. It is great fun planning our weeks though....For example, we have spotted a Wild Elephant Reserve some 50km North of Jinghong so we will definatley take this in on route up to Chengdu (some 600km away).
We would like to take time out to sincerley thank all who have left comments and especially to whom who have donated. The Share a Dream Foundation is a self funded charity and recieves no government hand outs so you are directly part of something very positive and will no doubt be putting a smile on a childs face in the future. For all our family, firends, girlfirends and newly made friends, we would like to thank you dearly for taking such a positive interest in the cycle. It means alot to think that we are providing a mini source of entertainment fo you all back home and around the world...
Rememeber to keep spreading the good word about our Thaireland Expedition and The Share a Dream Foundation to every man, woman and child you see.
Thanks once again. Your constant support is a great source of joy and entertainment for us too.
Cheers from all of us.