D33: 中峰→资源 - China Blues - CycleBlaze

September 29, 2020

D33: 中峰→资源

The difficulty with which I find myself convincing myself to get out of bed in the morning is a pretty good sign of how wiped out I am and it probably wouldn't have been that unreasonable for me to just call it a rest day and wait until the next day to leave Zhongfeng. However, the only stuff I've got (other than my laundry) which is looming undone is stuff that I'm not getting paid for and I try to sync my rest days with days when I have work to do so that I can pretend the reason I've stopped isn't because of my physical (lack of) condition.

I really liked the place from last night's dinner so, of course, they aren't a place that's open for breakfast type foods (even if breakfast is creeping into late brunch territory). The dumplings I had instead were nothing exciting. I realize that it's been quite a long while since I've seen my favorite Fujian style wontons with sesame dipping sauce.

There's a mobile phone store next to the dumpling shop so I pop in and buy another power bank to replace the tent fan powerbank that I mailed back to Haikou and to supplement my usual powerbank. Once the new powerbank is bought, the problems I was having with the old powerbank not wanting to completely charge to full will-of course-go away. I now suspect that one or more of the cables I've got and one or more of the wall warts I've got are the actual culprits for being flaky and that it was never the powerbank.

Although the morning's ride is hardly what you'd call "flat", the steepest and longest climb is 40 meters gained over just over a kilometer and it kicks my ass sufficiently that I'm all the way down into the lowest gears the Rohloff gives me and still huffing and puffing. The original plan for today has a huge ass mountain (+800 meters gain) but the new plan is now to get some grocery shopping done (I'm nearly out of oatmeal) and find a hotel.

I quite enjoy my ride in search of the RT Mart which Maps claims exists but which, from the outside, did not look at all like a shopping center with an international brand grocery store in it. Ziyuan is a rather pretty town. Very vertical with back alley entrances to buildings being bridges that connect to third floors and stuff like that but quite pretty.

Like most Chinese cities, Ziyuan has gone through a lot of names in its history. I only skimmed the Chinese article but, based on other (actually more historically important towns) it would have changed from town status to county status, from prefecture to principality to county and back again and, while doing this, would have often changed names as well. The current name dates to the 1930s and means "Resources" which is like places in Pennsylvania being named Coaltown.

According to Baidu Baike, the mining resources in Ziyuan include anthracite, vanadium, iron, copper, lead-zinc, tungsten, tin, molybdenum, tantalum-niobium, beryllium, beryl, fluorite, feldspar, zeolite, ceramic clay, limestone , granite, quartzite, shale, carbonaceous shale, and construction sand.

Or, in other words, despite this being a heavily minority area with obvious ethnic minorities just wandering around not being Han Chinese, and despite the fact that the street culture (with its beefed up three wheeled motorcycles and men in blue jackets and flat caps) is where the rest of China was at in the late 90s, they've got money. Things are pretty for no reason other than just being pretty; the public bathrooms in the parking lot near the riverwalk pavilion have actually handicapped accessible handicapped ramps leading to a handicapped toilet and the stalls have toilet paper.

After lunch and far too many stores that look at me like a grew a third head when I ask if they have butane canisters (but an eventual convenience store who not only has them but also can't imagine that all the other convenience stores don't have them) for my stove, I point myself at a cluster of cheap hotels in the central triangle that looks like its probably the oldest part of downtown.

The one that's actually on Trip.com (and therefore has officially listed themselves as knowing how to handle foreigners) is on the wrong side of the street and doesn't have a curb cut which really shouldn't matter but a difference of 12 yuan (USD 2) to not have to lift my bike up and over the curb is enough to make me go to the next one.

They give me the "no foreigners allowed" nonsense paired with "we don't have the license to accept foreigners" and let me tell you, the threat of my being loud has never worked so well as well the Front Desk has a napping 3 year old who has only just been successfully been put down to nap. Police are called; police show up; police don't even bother to look at me, or my documentation, or to even listen to me; they just tell him to photograph my passport and let me stay.

"But I don't have the system to register foreigners!" he protests.
"If you let me behind the front desk, I can teach you how!" I protest.

And I pay, and go to my room, and take a two hour nap, still unregistered.

While sleeping, it starts pissing down rain but its lightened up by the time I go out in search of dinner (which turns into first accidentally finding a grocery store and getting more instant oatmeal and raisins). Then, back to the room where I faff about on the internet for a while, take a call from Mike, and go back to sleep for 14 more hours.

Today's ride: 20 km (12 miles)
Total: 1,661 km (1,031 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 2
Comment on this entry Comment 0