I reached the end of X002 and got dumped back onto G101. One thing I’ve noticed is that the wind out of Mongolia is a constant and not always beneficial travel companion. I keep wondering what it’s going to be like for those last few hundred miles when I have to head due west. Sometimes it gets a little gusty in the gorges too.
At least the air clears up and so does the traffic. First scare: a semi passing me and a pint sized oncoming van both try to take the middle lane narrowly avoiding a devastating wreck.
The first 45 miles are uphill and it starts to get dry. I was looking for someplace to stop towards the end but it turned downhill around mile 50. Good thing as the Sun was getting low. I got a good gravity boost which helped cover the last 30 miles past some small farming villages quickly. My Tilley’s hat keeps its shape and stays on tight at 40mph.
About the time I was wondering if I had missed Chengde somehow , one last climb over a pass dropped me down into a city covered in neon with a number more skyscrapers on the way. The drivers on the freeway get to cut straight through the mountain. I find the Jing Cheng Da Jiu Dian, another very nice hotel. I don’t mind paying. I have almost 1,000 miles of Inner Mongolia to cover.
Tuesday I visit the Mountain Palace, pick up a few things, and get some road food at a local supermarket. I get dinner for about a dollar: one supermarket deli sandwich and a bottle of Chinese Snow Beer.
China Unicom draws me inside one of their shops for a sim card. I like that they don’t even ask for a name.
As I write on Tuesday night there’s a classical Chinese band playing on the street. I’m going to try to get some video.
Tooling around gets my total over 150 miles.
My legs hurt but my cycling shorts save my butt.