Guizhou - Day 8 - Xingyi to Luoping
- Distance 82.5 km
- Max Elevation 1550m
Guizhou - Xingyi to Luoping Ride Profile
At 7am it was pouring with rain so we lay in bed doing the crossword and trying to decided whether to stay another day in Xingyi, Guizhou. By 7.50 it had stopped so we packed, found doughnuts for breakfast and headed off, this time avoiding the one-way system and navigating through the quieter back streets.
The G324 climbs up a hill out of the city on a concrete road. The concrete surface has been cut into strips and roughened, presumably to slow the downhill traffic, but it made for a very uncomfortable ride up.We expected the road to be just as busy as yesterday but there was much less traffic, and most of the heavy trucks turned off after about 5km so from there the road was quiet.
After about 10km there was more road construction. Our road ran along the side of a slightly elevated section of the new one on an unsurfaced track. The overnight rain had turned it into a mud bath with thick orange goo and big puddles. Although it was only about 1km long we were completely be-splattered.
The sky was grey and it was much colder, Steve had to stop to put on his tights. He needed them because after that was a long snaking descent into a river valley. The new, surfaced, but not yet open, new road was high up on the left side and the railway on the right of the valley. After the long downhill there was another short section of rough road and then we came onto a dual carriageway. A sign at the side prohibited bicycles and pedestrians but there was no alternative road so we carried on. At this point we crossed over the border of Guizhou and into Yunnan.
Initially we had the whole carriageway to ourselves. It was quieter than any of the country lanes we have been on. We gradually saw more traffic, bikes, pedestrians and the odd buffalo and decided that there was nothing to worry about. The three Guizhou policemen at the toll gate just laughed at us. The road went through several small villages and we saw a popular little restaurant so stopped for lunch. The place was crowded with men all eating, playing cards and drinking games. The owner showed us a huge cold joint of roast beef. He sliced off a generous amount and served it in a pot of broth with plenty of raw green vegetables to add. It was the most wonderful bit of meat we've had since leaving home.
After lunch there was a long slow ascent and then an easy slow downhill to Luoping so we finished the ride before 4pm. We stayed at the brand new Luoping Hotel. The bed linen and towels were brand new and the beds were very, very comfy.
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