D25:石湾→杨桥畔 - Me China Red - CycleBlaze

April 12, 2021


Although known and familiar routes have certain disadvantages when it comes to things like adventure and discovery, they also have the matching advantage that you know in advance where to eat, or—in the case of this road—to bring all the day's food with you.

Although the sun eventually comes out and blues the sky for a while, it's mostly a gray day and the scenery which had been stunning three years ago is diminished somewhat. It's still very very pretty, but it's nothing like it had been.

It seems as though a pipeline must have been built since I was through here last as I don't see a single oilfield worker or big truck or even much evidence that big trucks have been by recently when they were previously two or three times an hour.

My high hopes to actually visit Qingping Fort this time around were crushed by the same inability as last time to actually find a way over there. It seems as I'd remembered wrong about how close it wasn't and completely forgotten that my fruitless failed search had been for the ruins of the Qingping Fort Bridge (which had no less than 5 markers illustrating it's rise over the years from county to provincial to national protected site).

The provincial road has continued to hemorrhage traffic off onto the no longer brand new expressway and even more stuff is closed and gone than in 2018. Oddly enough, perhaps because it was starting to get chilly, I actually noticed more Obviously Out of Business hotels. 

First place I stopped gave off a vibe of not entirely telling me the truth about booked full in a doesn't want a foreigner I might have Covid and be infectious sort of way but she might not have been lying. I also got the impression that she was excited to ask me questions about how far I'd biked but didn't actually want to backtrack on what she'd initially said.

Place I stayed last time was locked as were two or three others that hadn't yet gotten around to pulling down faded signs welcoming the truckers who no longer come this way.

However, just a few doors down from the petrol station that gave me completely wrong information about the Great Wall the last time, I found a restaurant that had rooms. And hot showers. But, as I would later discover.... no heat.

Today's ride: 57 km (35 miles)
Total: 939 km (583 miles)

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