Preparations - 5,000 years of history - CycleBlaze


My plan is to fly to Southern China and see the many of the attractions throughout the country. I'm hoping the arrival of spring will make the North bearable.

The first obstacle was getting a 3 month visa. China rarely give those. So I decided to apply for a dual entry 60 day visa. Half way through the trip I  will go to Hong Kong and the 60 days would reset. So I made 26 refundable hotel bookings and a non refundable return airline booking.

When I went to the visa centre in Johannesburg, I was disappointed when the agent told me she can only give me 30 days single entry. So I waited a couple of hours before the manager could evaluate my case. After looking at papers, he gave me the green light. A huge relief.

The other obstacle is their filters on internet traffic. Notably all Google services are blocked, including the Android play Store. So I forwarded my Gmail to Yahoo. I installed Baidu maps, WeChat and the offline Chinese add-on for Google translator. I also configured a second phone as a backup.

The last obstacle is the language. This is where the second phone really helps: I can open a website or an app on one and the translator on the other.

My bicycle is a fairly new 29 inch Cannondale mountain bike. I installed slick tires, a mirror, 2 water bottles and steel pedals with toe clips. My luggage is two medium bags (9 kg total) and I fasten one to the handle bar and the other beneath my seat.

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