Thursday, 7 May 2009

I'm not in Kansas any more, 7 May 2009

So last night we discovered that there was one shop in YuanYang where
you could rent bicycles. The Swiss dude decided that he would take a
bike and head up to some of the villages a little further out. When I
found out that Emma wouldn't be in YuanYang until the 8th I decided
that a day on a bike with the Swiss guy would be kinda cool.

From online forums I knew that the best way to get around the rice
paddies at YuanYang was buy 3-wheeler-taxi-type-mobiles, and these
were a little bit pricey to do alone so I decided to wait until Emma
arrived so that we could do them together.

So this morning we went to the only bike rental place in the town
(this place has next to no tourists and isn't geared up for bike
rentals yet). We collected two racing bikes (not moutain bikes) and we
were off.

Now, YuanYang is in the mountains. The paddy fields line the valley
sides. And getting anywhere in YuanYang involves an uphill journey.
But I didn't realise how steep these hills/mountains were. After ten
minutes i was ready to turn around an go back. I'm not used to riding
a bike on streets, and I'm definitely not used to riding bikes up
mountains.

I got off my bike and started pushing, the swiss guy pedalled slowly
next to me. When the incline levelled out I got back on my bike. The
swiss dude wanted to travel to a village 27km away. Now, if YuanYang
was flat this would not have been a problem for me, but YuanYang is
most definitely not flat! There was a village 6km away and I decided
that I would try and get 6km and see the village there, and save the
rest for Emma and a 3-wheeler-taxi-type-mobile.

I was on my bike, then i was pushing my bike, then i was back on my
bike and then i was pushing again! This was hard work! I ended up
telling the Swiss to go off on his own, I was just holding him up. I
eventually made it to Qingshou, it took over an hour!

It was a lovely villlage with beautiful rice terraces. I got off my
bike and read my book for two hours. It was nice to read a chapter
then look up and see such a beautiful scene in front of me. Pretty
idyllic.

After a couple of hours I decided to head back. Going back was easy,
it was ALL downhill. I made it back in thirty minutes. Ridiculous.

It was a nice bike ride but when Emma arrives we most definitely will
not be cycling around the villages. It's just too knackering.

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