After 280 km we’ve pulled into a comfy hotel room here in Shaoxing. A grey grey city.
The ride so far has been quite varried. Day one out of Shanghai was confusing as we meiandered quite a long way off track. Fortunatly we kept our heading correct and eventually encountered the correct road. We took our first night in a hotel exactly 100 km outside of our starting point in Shanghai, Hangzhou.
The first day was suppose to rain, and it was bright and clear. The second day was suppose to be bright and clear and we spent the whole morning riding through a heavy thunderstorm, lightning encourging us to ride in a certian direction while the echo of thunder encouraged us to ride in another. While the weather was somewhat less than ideal, our direction was precise. We found our highway and made a line straight for the city of Hangzhou. Departing in the morning at about 7:30 AM, we took a lunch at 12:30 and arrived at our destination at about 2:30 PM.
We had arranged to meet a couch surfer in Hangzhou and we met him outside some very fancy apartments, where he indicated that he did infact not live there. He walked us around the corner to his apartment which was housed in a very posh neighborhood, however once up to the flat, we understood the situation a little better. Living in a renovated small apartment, he ‘owned’ one room in a dorm-style apartment. He offered us two empty rooms and allowed us to use the two available community showers and wash our clothes. A bit crammed in, we were comfortable.
Any time you stay with a couch surfer, I suppose it’s only appropriate to acknowledge their desiers, and this gentilman wanted to take us on a nice walk around the beautiful West Lake. It was nice. But my legs were not quite yet use to riding 100 km in a day, nor 200 km in two days. I was not feeling it. But we walked anyway and enjoyed his company. Early, we fell asleep on some wooden matress-less beds with the windows open, covered in bug juice. No matter, my legs were finally off the hook.
Today, we got into the action quickly and early. I’m not sure how, but while riding the previous two days we had maintained about 20-24 kph, today we rode between 24 and 32 kph. If we keep adding speed like that, I think we’ll be in Hong Kong early!
So far the sights and sounds and all that rot has been quite interesting. It’s been a mix of textile mills, toxic holding ponds, beautiful lotus farms, orchards, grapes, and steel mills. Roads have been deliciously flat, even, and dry, but we’ve also enjoyed riding throgh a foot of murky water for kilometers, up and down pot-holed, rabbit-holed, and magical-mystery-holed streets. Fortunatly, for the most part things are prety and smooth. And people smile really easily.
Tomorrow we leave for several days to visit.. some mountian. it’s on the route. Look it up. – now I will rest.!