D67: 合川→中心→武胜 - China Blues - CycleBlaze

November 14, 2020

D67: 合川→中心→武胜

I screwed up today.

Back before the 2017 Tour, I spent a substantial amount of time looking at background details on a whole bunch of photos before and after a particularly cool set of modern cliff carvings photographed in 2012 and managed, along with the help of a topo map, to figure out exactly where they had to be.

It was a must visit location that I didn't visit in 2017 because I suddenly decided "okay, trip's over" about 150km east northeast of it.

Then I didn't visit it again when I passed through this region in 2018 because I was busy hitting up all the parts of central Sichuan that I'd never done before.

However, since I was totally passing through Chongqing this time around, I knew I was definitely going there. Even went so far as to mark the spot on the Chinese mapping software I use for my daily navigation. And then, since being able to add notes to pins is asking far too much, I didn't remember why I had this random point marked and decided instead that I was bored of the main road and should go looking at village scenery instead.

So, I missed it.
By 7 kilometers.

Now I got to see some other cool stuff instead like views of the Jialing River and a pleasantly rural temple with a historical presence dating back eight or nine hundred years even if nothing in it looked to be more than twenty or thirty.

And by going rural, by getting off the main road, it means that even though I was riding past sunset, I end my day's ride in countryside darkness where the after sunset chill is refreshing and the traffic can be heard approaching a kilometer before it gets to me.

The town which I was hoping was going to have lodging despite nothing showing up on maps didn't look particularly like it had lodging (though I admit to not actually asking) so I went on to the next town. Named Zhongxin or "the center", it's a river town that's lost importance these past thirty or forty years as wheeled traffic has become a reasonable way to move things around in this area (and hydroelectric dams have made shipping by barge a much shorter haul proposition than it used to be), it had the air of someplace that would be all kinds of interesting to explore.

And it did have a single hotel show up on the maps. A single hotel that I probably wouldn't have found without asking someone, though the friendly guy who said "hi" to me as I was just getting ready to begin looking volunteered to show me. Third floor front desk with tall storeys. More like the equivalent of a fifth floor. Not at all pleasant to be carrying my bike up.

And then, when I get up to the lobby, the hotel ayi starts spritzing me with rubbing alcohol. Particularly my shoes. And she doesn't want to see my passport or my NAT or talk to me. She just wants to freak out. American. An American in her hotel. No, no, no, no no. Americans have disease. *spritz* *spritz*.

But I'm up the stairs and there's really nowhere else available so I'm not particularly inclined to leave. In fact I'm more inclined to tell her she needs to be calling the police cause I will be staying the night. Regretting that I didn't do like I said I was going to do and start the night at the police station in order to ward off Murphy's Law. But the police station had looked closed for the night when I passed it and with there only being one hotel, I didn't think there could be too much of a problem.

I thought wrong.

Today's ride: 59 km (37 miles)
Total: 3,197 km (1,985 miles)

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