TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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China Entry Leg 1

Posted by TravellingStrom on August 28, 2012

Mayan Prophecy Countdown

OK, once again I have tried to get out through the Great (FIRE)Wall of China and have failed!! It is too time consuming, and with the culture shock(I cannot get fried rice in China) it means I have lost interest ๐Ÿ˜ฆ On top of that, we have one member of our tour group who is a total knob, he will not abide by the Chinese rules and restrictions and is an obnoxious arsehole who cares nothing for anyone or anything else but himself. This is causing friction amongst a group who ‘may’ be together for the next few months, although he has indicated he will will not do the second China leg, well, nice of him to tell us now, because the price just went up for the rest of us!!!! Mind you, the rest of us agree, we are better off without his abusive disruptive behaviour and, when it comes down to it, the rest of us want to ride and experience China, that is the whole reason we paid this much money for the guide and licences and registrations, so we could experience a whole new world.!!!!! Rant Over

Well, sorry to start with a downer, but every day it is a struggle to deal with MR FW, why the *&^% he bothered to come on this trip is a mystery, because his attitude to the other 9 people is atrocious(and one of them is his wife!!!), and the way he treats our guide/interpreter is less than human.********

In the meantime, the last time I wrote, I had just kangaroo hopped my way up a steep rock filled mountain, and down a few parts of it too, [OK, I admit I also fell off a bit of it as well] ๐Ÿ˜‰ . We had camped near a river but it was quite high up and this means cold, so as you can imagine, all them cold wet river soaked clothes I left out over night did not quite dry out before they froze, actually them socks smell less when frozen! !!!!

Once the sun had warmed us up we headed off, the ride from here on in was quite uneventful, the road was still bumpy, some corrugations and potholes, but after yesterday it was easy peasy and the views were great, some of the latter parts reminded me of the Rocky Mountains ๐Ÿ™‚

In mid afternoon we did arrive in Naryn, where we booked into a run down hotel, but there was not a lot of choice.

It was good to rest up, I was sore and most of us were fatigued, some had had not much sleep due to the cold. The next day was maintenance day for me, I had to get the panniers fixed because they were bent in so far, everytime I hit a bump the left pannier was hitting the swingarm and one of the frame parts had snapped off. I had to remove the whole left hand side, and after a false start with the hotel dudes, I did find a mig welder to get the thing fixed ๐Ÿ™‚

The others had headed off already while I was doing this, there was an old Silk Road site, called Tash Rabat that they wanted to visit, I did too, but by the time I got everything back together I decided to forget the detour, we needed to be at the border today for the crossing tomorrow early, apparently there were caravans or something to stay at overnight at the border itself. I had some issues with my clutch, it keeps slipping, but this town had no place for motorbikes, so I would have to ride it the way it is, I have no idea what is causing it, I did re-adjust it a bit, but to no effect ๐Ÿ˜ฆ In the end, the road was very fast for the first 150km then it turned to crap, the last section was extremely rough, and I was the first to arrive. I negotiated a place to stay, $5 for a bed and a hot meal, and at 3500m we were not going to camp again if we could help it!

The sleeping arrangements left a lot to be desired, but they were warm, that was the main thing, it started to feel freezing as soon as the sun went away.

Next day we were up and running early for a 9am start to get through the border, our guide Benny was on his way from the other side, he would have to meet us before we could go any further. The line up of trucks waiting to get through had increased to quite a few kilometres over night and now we know the reason for the caravans, to feed and sleep these chaps. There was ample evidence of how cold it was outside last night, it even got a bit cold inside, but not too bad overall.

The big problem was the range rover, it would not start in the cold and everything they tried failed, it is an auto, so no push starting. In the end it did get going and we managed to get through all the border checkpoints, met Benny and headed to the town of Kashgar where quite a number of us needed urgent work.

My bashplate was held on by a ratchet strap, this broke when I hit a massive pothole and while I repaired it, time was ticking, and when we got to the next check point, they had gone on lunch, so we had to wait ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Benny our new friend

Military inspection, not quite plastic glove and internal, but very close, no cameras allowed please

It was a very slow ride through to Kashgar, we were not allowed to go in front of the range rover that was carrying Benny, because we had not yet been issued our Chinese drivers licences nor our registration plates and we were now in no man’s land, although it was 70km of Chinese controlled NML, but the slow ride gave us time to look around ๐Ÿ™‚

We finally got to the Chinese side of the border, had our bikes sprayed with some type of crap(totally waste of time, the wind got most of it and they did not do underneath the mudguards). Then it took another 2 hours to get all our vehicles processed, one by one, then ourselves, but eventually we got to the other side

It was a slow ride to Kashgar, lots of small villages along the way, many cars, trucks and electric scooters zipping around, very messy driving habits was my first impression.

So, our first night in China, Benny took a few of down for some food and beer, it is very Muslim in this part of China, so you have to pick where to eat, this place specialised in pigeon, quite scrumptious actually ๐Ÿ™‚

After this quick snack, because we were starved, we went and found the night market, this is one of many, but the closest and here are many many food stalls and it does not matter where you sit, you can order food from any of the booths, they are all numbered ๐Ÿ™‚ They all have fridges with skewered meat or vegies or fish on them, they will cook how ever many you want. But, the best deal by far is the beer, they come in a green thermos bottle to keep it chilled, they are two litres each and cost $3.85AU, what a bargain, they look like Penguins, and we call them our Happy Feet, but they make the whole body happy ๐Ÿ™‚

So, I am finally in China, but due to the Chinese government I am only here for 10 days and must exit into Mongolia on the 6th September, then ride 2,000km to UlaanBaatar the capital, reapply for another Chinese visa, then re-enter China and ride south to Laos.

The other Chinese restrictions include the internet, three things that make my blog work properly is uploading videos to YouTube, logging in to my WordPress account and Facebook, NONE of these are allowed here, so it has taken me a while to organise a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, just to get to the outside. Because of that, I will only be doing sporadic updates, hopefully with some nice pictures of me on the bike and vertical ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mongolia should be normal internet, but not sure how many connections I will find on the way to UB.

Cheers from the middle of nowhere in China
TravellingStrom

14 Responses to “China Entry Leg 1”

  1. Al & Ann said

    Congratulations Richard, we’re glad you’ve made it to China and we look forward to your updates. We really enjoy reading about your adventure and hope all goes well for all of you and that you just enjoy it. We thank you for sharing it.
    Ride On!

    • Hi Al and Ann

      Hope all is well with you ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for following, I reckon the wing would love these Chinese roads, what a shame on most of them bikes are not allowed ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It would be better if there was a capacity limit, so anything under 500cc get off but leave us big buggers to ride ๐Ÿ™‚

      Cheers TS

  2. Tombstone said

    That did look like the Rockies! Did it make you homesick for ole Tombstone?? Haha..
    It’s cool you are in China….looking forward to the pictures.

    • Hi Tombstone

      Yeah well, I still like your neck of the woods, but this is all fresh and new, so it just can’t get any better ๐Ÿ™‚

      Photos to come, although most are boring due to it being desert, but the beers are cheap and abundant ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Cheers TS

  3. Jantje said

    hi Richard,
    Good to see a “VanderVeen” truck in your report…almost me “Vanveen” (must be “borrowed” from the Dutchies) – anyway good to see you’re all right with all that tumbling going on…happy trails inChina

  4. great update Rich,good to see yourself back enjoying it
    cheers clive

  5. Gassoon said

    Epic effort, Richard, just to get some internet out, never mind the riding! That first pic of you with your britches unbuckled, brandishing yer frozen socks is class! Pity about the tosser mind…feel sorry for his wife!

    • Thanks m8, it has been a weary effort trying to get some blog stuff done. I have been lazy, no internet, then I don’t bother trying to pre-write and entry, I go out and socialise ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Carl said

    Glad to see you made it to China in one piece, a few bumps and bruises will only make you tougher. What a bargain with the beer being so cheap, just behave yourself i don’t think i would want to get in trouble with the police in China. In relation to your arsehole problem, just put one on his chin and while he is lying on the floor read him the riot act that should work.

    • Hi Carl, as he is your height, reaching his chin is an issue, I may go for the low blow to the nuts first then a snapping drop kick to the head ๐Ÿ˜‰

      China has been fun and different, Mongolia in the morning, 2,000km of dirt which may be good or bad, probably like the Cape York road, corrugated.

  7. Bob said

    Rich,

    Driving in China. It is a three dimensional thing. Just remember Newton’s 10th Law. Any object moving on the roads in China is a target for any stationary object.

    But any road on two wheels is better then on four wheels

    รงa roule

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