A little slow, but I’ve reached the border of China and Russia. I had one nice calm day to knock down 80 mostly flat miles, then the winds came back with a vengeance to make me earn every last mile to Manzhouli.
Before I left the last city I realized I could learn a few words of Mongolian on signs from the Chinese I know and the Cyrillic Mongolian.
When I stopped last night to polish off some snacks to get the energy for the last 20 miles, I couldn’t believe where I was – within spitting distance of the borders of Mongolia, Russia, and China. Ten miles out I passed a police inspection station where they gave me a couple bottles of a popular iced tea drink and asked me questions, mouths agape, about where I came from and where I was going.
My odometer says almost 1300 miles, but I double checked it against my GPS and the distance markers to find it about 10% high, which gives me somewhere around 1100 miles not counting my mistakes. I’ll have to adjust it a bit.
Manzhouli is a fascinating city. It’s a shopping destination for Russians. Sometimes I’ve been speaking both Russian and Mandarin with the same person and the shops have signs in both languages. The buildings are also mostly in a European style. There’s even a Kentucky Fried Chicken, but I haven’t seen a Denny’s.
This part of the trip has been pretty uneventful.