Leave before the banks open, figuring I'll change money at the next town - Gaoping- but no, they can't and direct me to Jincheng, the next big town.
Only 60km to Jincheng - should be easy getting there before lunch! Garry, what are you doing thinking these thoughts!
Now, I gotta hit the road and make up some miles, but do you think I can find my way out of this city!!! Finally an hour later I enlist the police who tell me that the road I need is actually the G207 (contrary to what the map and GPS say) and they draw me a map.
Gotta make up time, gotta make up time.... I've found the road to Luoyang and I'm doing well - a little bumpy maybe, but satisfactory enough. The it happens, more roadworks :-(
I climb up into the mountains and the concrete road has been broken into fragments (manually by hordes of road workers using sledge hammers and pick axes).
I travel along at 20kmh in 3rd gear and hark, do I feel the back end of the bike wandering??!!
The shards of concrete result in another puncture - my 3rd so far. I am in the mountains, it's getting late in the day, there are no other vehicles around and I have no idea how far it is to the next town. I end up riding 25kms on the flat tyre, fully expecting the shards to rip the tyre to shreds. I reach solid road again to spot the only other vehicle - a bike with a punctured front.
Mr Li (the other rider) follows me to town and directs me to local vehicle repair centre (welding on trucks etc) where they fix the 3 holes in the tube for nix and Mr Li insists I follow him home to stay the night at his house as guest.
Needless to say, I am the star attraction, being the first foreigner to visit this town - but more on the Li's hospitality later.