D3: Nameless Crossroads → 下邽 - Me China Red - CycleBlaze

March 21, 2021

D3: Nameless Crossroads → 下邽

Today was distinctly lacking in things seen. Separate from my not actually having much in the way of plotted out sites along the route that I'd picked out (not that I ever actually end up strictly following the route I've picked out in advance), it turns out that this was one of those areas which, having been described to me as a boring stretch of empty countryside, actually was a boring stretch of empty countryside and was not a lack of ability to find interesting things on the part of the speaker.

The most interesting site of the day was probably the bit where, completely unbeknownst to me until it showed up in front of me and stayed alongside me for 4 or 5 kilometers, I ended up near the kind of airport that totally looks like the perfect sort of place to stand by the fence and plane watch. Except, you know, for the signs every 10 or 15 meters regarding "no photography" and "military area" and "don't divulge national secrets".

I'm guessing on the simple basis of no one having stopped me and told me to go somewhere else that there's nothing actually all that secret currently going on at this air field but I wasn't really interested in finding out what would happen if I did more than furtively glance over at the unfamiliarly shaped aircraft while obviously continuing to move forward in a fashion that very clearly wasn't 'taking photos'. Sure, a surprising number of people don't seem to realize that I'm a foreigner until well into a conversation with me but I'd be very disappointed in the professionalism of Chinese security forces if someone as obviously Obvious as me (or at least my giant straw Hat) was allowed to get close to anything she shouldn't be around.

Big bowl of noodles for lunch during which time I found out from a local about a nearby ongoing archeological site that she was sure I wouldn't be allowed to visit until after the museum went up and I was sure I could talk my way in to for a peek. She ended up being right, though, as I was standing outside the gate editing my quick video of my failure to visit the archeological site some Very Official Researcher Type Staff on their way out saw me and tried to convince the security guard that anyone as interested in a hole in the ground as I was ought to be allowed in but no go.

The Tomb of Kou Zhun might have been improved by knowing who Kou Zhun was before visiting his tomb but, then again, might not have been as it was basically just a big earth mound and a scattering of steles and inscribed stone plaques all but one of which were less than 100 years old. Probably the main benefit I got out of it was having an idea what a late Ming early Qing grave stele in Shaanxi looks like such that when I started seeing modern ones in that style I knew specifically what I was looking at.

I had some really good flatbread and a giant roujiamou (what is often called a Chinese hamburger on the basis of it being almost, but not entirely, completely unlike a hamburger) from a street corner place who recommended the hotel just to the north of her shop as the cleanest place in town. 

Probably also the largest and most expensive place in town (at a whole 80y per night), the only problem they had with me as a foreigner was my inability, having changed counties, to get the local version of the green code to work on my phone. However, my Covid test results, the existence of a video of my getting the first shot of the Sinopharm vaccine, and the Hainan code combined to be enough data to make whoever they were talking with on the phone happy.

Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 176 km (109 miles)

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