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        Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst ... 456
        Results 51 to 55 of 55
        1. #51 Anyang 
          Anyang July 30th
          Odometer 7474 (+200km)

          Well, How Come These People Are Nice?
          I woke up in the middle of the night again with wheat belly. This is getting tiresome. I had, like the brilliant bastard I am, eaten a terrible snack of stale bread right before bed. I was lucky and the early morning discomfort was all that took place during the day.

          Sometimes it started to get muddy.

          We got into Tai Hang Shan (太行山)Grand Canyon. It was a brilliant ride. Really, quite quiet. We drove through rolling hills that were spotted with villages. We could see the gorges begin to be carved out below us. As the gorges became bigger and deeper, the road moved into the bottom and began twisting through them. The road was very small, really only one car could fit. This of course didn't stop our land rover owning friends from politely sharing the road. (I've adopted a strong sense of sarcasm, lately) The gorges were deep and lush. There wasn't a river at the bottom so much as a smooth rocky surface. Perhaps it was too dry for water to be running. Later on, the gorges got deeper and wider and the river become more significant. The road was in good condition and often took quick turns and would occasionally tunnel straight through the mountain. The only fault was a significant amount of smog. This was surprising because we were a long way off from a city.

          We eventually left the gorges, but the road remained fantastic. Got the oil changed in a little town. The mechanic was napping in the back as it was around noon and really hot. He only had 10w30 oil. I figured that new oil of the wrong weight was better than old oil of the correct weight (15W50, or close enough since that is a really rare weight). Please correct me if this is wrong. He quickly set us up, we drove out of town and the check engine light came on. Then baidu maps said, "you're going the wrong way". Pulled over, checked to see if anything stupid was wrong with the bike...e.i. no drain plug, no new oil, something like that. Everything looked good and we carried on. No problems for the rest of the day.

          Anyang was our next stop. Anyang is an ancient capital of China. They have bone oracle stuff. Probably, that means little to you.
          Bone oracle script is a form of Chinese writing dating back into early pre-history. It is an early form of the writing system we know as Chinese. Royal fortune tellers would take a cow scapula or a turtle shell and write sentences in this script on the bone. Next, they would throw the bone into the fire and see where it cracks. This method of fortune telling depends on upon which character the fire produces cracks. This will determine what the soothsayer can predict of the future. Then, they would take the shells and throw them in a pit and bury them. These pits have been discovered and given archeologists and linguists excellent insight into the history of the Chinese language and especially the Chinese script. As a linguist, I studied this place in university and it was fantastic being there and seeing the actual pit. Hella Geek-cool.

          We spent a few hours at the site. When we got there, we bought the tickets. Then the guy checking the tickets asked us to remove our backpacks. I asked, "Where can we put them." He replied, "It's not a problem, you can keep them in the reception room for free". The reception room wasn't fancy but it had two things that cannot be over appreciated. It was air conditioned like a fridge and there was a place to put our packs that was actually safe. We were encouraged to sit and rest in the cool. What hospitality.

          Ancient underground water pipes.

          Important pose with the special turtle shells.

          A cow scapula.

          A translation of the writing on it.

          Here is the pit.

          This exhibit board was inside the building with the pit. I stood and read this board from what seemed like ages. Guess why.

          Next stop, the museum of Chinese Writing. We arrived at 5:30. They closed at 6:00. The security guard waved us and on the bike and smiled. Then, he asked politely and patiently, if we wanted to see the museum. I noted his strange use of clear and simple words. His accent was tough to understand but his language was perfectly suited for foreigners. Nice security guard. We park the bike and walk. We get to the security checkpoint and get through. But, were warned there is only 30 minutes until the museum closes. We say we will see it quickly. We looked around for ten minutes and realized it was a fantastic museum and we would need to return tomorrow.

          I checked Meituan and Baidu ditu for local hotels. We, at this point, had had all the camping experiences we needed. 100 yuan hotels were a far better option than the scrapes, fear, inconvenience and complete lack of comfort provided by camping. We called a hotel. I asked if they allowed foreigners. They said they had never had one, so she would check. She came back laughing and said of course. Why wouldn't foreigners be allowed. This town is fantastic. Found the hotel, room is cheap and air conditioned and whatever other shortcomings it had, I didn't care. Helped the young desk clerk sort through the mysteries of our passports. Found some secure storage for the bike across the street. We asked the front desk where there was a shao kao restaurant. She wasn't sure but directed us to a place nearby. By the time we got there, she was waiting there to tell us that it wasn't a shao kao. We actually didn't care, but she insisted we not eat there. It seemed busy inside, but I have learned if someone says "You don't want to eat here." you probably shouldn't eat there.

          So, we walked around until we found a malatang soup place. (Choose your own soup ingredients). We loaded a huge bowl up with vegetables and told them clearly and with no uncertain indications that they were not to put noodles into the soup. Travelling in China, you quickly become sick of noodles. And my Laduzi problems of the past few days had clearly left me nutrient deprived. Vegetables boiled in water with a spicy peanuty broth tasted as good to me on the scorching evening as my mothers turkey dinners tastes in my memory. They would have been enjoyed equally.

          Return to the hotel. Andrea passed out as I finished up the journal.

          Last edited by cryptographicide; 12-30-2015 at 09:15 AM.
          1995 Suzuki Intruder (2005-Present){Canada}
          2003 Daelim Daystar (2011-2012){S. Korea}
          2014 Jialing 200 GY5A (2015-Present) {China}
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        2. #52 Home 
          July 31st Liangshan
          odometer 7866 (+392)

          The Barn Doors

          Waking up, we were tired. We slept in, knowing the museum didn't open early. Taking our time in the museum we saw as much as we could. Then we were off. We stopped at a trucker restaurant and had a 3 yuan combination platter of cold dishes. It was really good. The best 60 cent dinner I've ever had.

          There was a peony garden to the south. But it would add two hundred kilometers to our trip. The solution was obvious...fuck that. We're going home. Everything we did was preceded by the question, "Will it get us home?" We had seen the barn doors. This is a phrase that really exists only within my family. Here is the story it is based on: When I was younger, I had a pony. Shut up. I lived on a farm and it would have been strange if I didn't have one. My pony was an old mare that had served her time and was sent to greener pastures. Our farm was the greener pasture. She didn't work. Occasionally we got to ride her. But most of the time she just minded her own business. This horse very seldom found the nerve or motivation to run. For a week in the summer, I took some riding lessons. Everyday mom brought the horse over to our neighbours farm where the lessons were. She would put the horse in the corral and then go to work. One day, she put the horse in the corral without realizing that our neighbours had just put their stallion in the same corral. This stallion saw the old mare and immediately started putting the moves on. In horse culture this is much more intimidating than in human culture. My pony turned right around and ran through the gate just before my mom closed it. Then, instead of stopping outside the corral, she kept running. Running faster and harder than I'd ever seen her. It turned out she was a race horse before she came to our farm and this was clear only this one time. The consensus was that she had "seen the barn doors" and would only feel safe when she had got to them. Nothing was going to stop her. Now, on that last leg of the trip when you know you can just make it home if you push, I've always said that I've seen the barn doors. Nothing is going to keep me from getting home.

          Except I was still 1000 km from home.

          We drove all day. Stopping to get our saddle bags repaired by a shoe repair guy with one leg. It took him about an hour to repair the bags. They had been given a brutal beating over the last few weeks.

          Almost 400 km today. This was some hard riding.

          You know, just a sanlunche with live chickens.

          We had some good roads today. We also had some brutal roads.

          Heavy trucks on cobble stone...NO! BAD ROADMAKERS!

          Lets not forget about lake roads.

          Continued driving until after dark because we couldn't find a hotel for over a 100 km before liangshan. You see those signs everywhere until you need em.
          1995 Suzuki Intruder (2005-Present){Canada}
          2003 Daelim Daystar (2011-2012){S. Korea}
          2014 Jialing 200 GY5A (2015-Present) {China}
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        3. #53 Re: Home 
          Weifang and Yantai
          July 1 and 2
          Odometer: 8400(+450)(+270)



          The hotel in liangshan was really quite awesome. It had a courtyard so our bike was kept inside and out of the rain. In the morning, we tried to get a early start. Across the street was a tent was some people making bao zi. We bought two portions. I wanted to sit down but Andrea didn't want to be around Chinese people, so I called her miserable. Then we didn't talk for three hours. This is the biggest row of the whole trip. Considering the shit I've seen my parents throw at each other on road trips, and the fact she is planning on going on other trip with me, I think she is a real keeper. Anyway, a few hours later we said our apologies and we were fine.

          I had to turn off the GPS for a while and accidentally missed a road. Oh well, we just kept going straight and eventually popped out onto pavement again. Except for, you know, the corn field, most of the roads were really good.

          We got to Qufu, confucious' hometown. I hadn't planned very much here and mostly didn't have anything on my map. We stopped at the tourist information building. A big fancy building in a central location. Wow cool, right? Nope, no information, no maps, no wifi. Just places for people to peddle cheap tourist junk at you. Left there quickly. Found a coffee shop. It was a nauseatingly Chinafied coffee shop. The chairs were booths covered almost entirely in velvet. The prices were twice what they are at starbucks. I ordered a latte and it came with more sugar than coke. So, I asked them to make it again without sugar and I'd like it warm this time. It returned identical to the previous one. It had just enough wifi to tell Andrea and I that there was nothing of interest in Qufu. We left quickly.

          The roads in Shandong are top notch. Most are dual lanes and are not too crowded. The biggest event was a pigeon that jumped at our bike hoping to perch somewhere, I suppose. I bitch slapped it with my mirror. The jerk got his revenge though. It got my mirror and took it with him.

          We got to Weifang. I thought where was enough time to make it home if we kept going. But, we would have been getting in at midnight. Thats four hours of driving in darkness. That just isn't worth it.

          We booked into a hotel on the outskirts. At this point, I had stopped using apps to book hotels. Way too many hotels that don't accept foreigners. Our best bet was to stop on the outskirts of a city and start asking people where there is a hotel. They usually just point and say stuff that I didn't understand, but we would find the cheap trucker hotels. They always accepted foreigners. The hotels in town barely ever accepted us. 70 yuan for the night.

          Had some shaokao and beers that evening. There was a family sitting next to us. Parents and two kids. The two kids dissappeared for a while but returned in about a half an hour with a box of puppies. The mom was all for the puppies but it was up to the dad to say, "No". They almost had him for a while, but he eventually literally put his foot down. This inspired quite a reaction. The wife shut up and turned cold. The son seemed disappointed but the daughter made such a scene that I couldn't help feeling bad for the father. She wailed and screamed and pleaded. There was begging. There was theatrics. It was like watching a play as we ate. Very entertaining. The father, in the end, held his ground and took his family home after an "unhappiness" night out.

          In the morning, Andrea said good bye to the hotel poodle that she had become such good friends with.

          All good roads till about 40 km from Yantai. Then we pull off for a little rest. A silver sedan pulls up beside us. Two young guys get out and give us four apples. Then they are about to get into their car and I ask, "why". "Oh, we like motorcycles", was their response. Oh...the apples were good. I added one of them to wechat but he never responds to my texts and sends me more than occasional advertisements.

          And then we were home. Then we spend two weeks lazing around and watching walking dead.

          Didn't shave the entire trip.

          The hill behind our apartment.

          1995 Suzuki Intruder (2005-Present){Canada}
          2003 Daelim Daystar (2011-2012){S. Korea}
          2014 Jialing 200 GY5A (2015-Present) {China}
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        4. #54 Re: China, West to East (Urumqi,Xining,Xian,Yantai) 
          C-Moto Noob
          Join Date
          Jan 2020
          I have once been to Xining and Xian. Xian really impressed me. The city is gorgeous.
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        5. #55 Re: China, West to East (Urumqi,Xining,Xian,Yantai) 
          Hi. I totally agree with you, I also like Xian so much.
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