08 May, 2008

On the road day 2 - Tuesday 29 April. Bama to Guiding

Today I ride from Bama to Guiding (just outside of Guiyang) - a total distance of 500km and another 12 hour day.

After heading out of Bama I keep stopping to admire more of the marvellous scenery enroute. It is truly stunning.

As well as rice paddies, there are lakes and winding little routes to peoples homes and farms,

I had a 500km oil change and minor service done on the bike at a small town called Donglan, 50kms down the road from Bama - it only took 15 mins and cost 10 yuan or 1.50 (I provided the oil) but that included a replacement for my missing passenger footpeg which I noticed I had lost the previous day.

Another 100km down this amazing windy mountain road and I reach Highway 210 - the main road to Xian. At this point the road becomes 4 lane (it isn't an expressway here) and I immediately start to regret the increased traffic volumes and lack of curves.

A further 50km and it becomes expressway and I'm entering Guizhou province. I ask the traffic police officer if it is okay to ride on the expressway (conscious of the fact that the Haobon has no plates but he isn't interested), and although he doesn't say NO the policeman suggests I take the regular route (for my own safety's sake). I do this for a short while but quickly become caught up in road works and massive traffic jams through villages.

Realising it will be a very slow ride if I stick to going through congested villages I kept an eye out for the expressway entrance. So as soon as I saw the next entry point on to the freeway I I looked for a "No Motorcycles" sign and there wasn't one, just no tractors and bicycles. I went up to the toll booth and they gave me ticket so I was ready to go.

As the day grows late there is light rainfall and I'm getting cold and tired. I pull off at Guiding (pronounced Gwee Ding), just shy of my target city for the day - Guiyan.

I find the first hotel in town, park out front and stride over to the reception desk.

The hotel owner indicates it will cost me 80 yuan for the night but she does not know how to check me in even though I proffered my passport. She takes my money and shows me up to my room, closes the door and 5 minutes later there is a knock on the door from 4 police officers wanting to to check my passport.
After having a laugh they let me know all is fine. They also asked the hotel owner to park the Haobon in the lobby to prevent theft. I indicated I was hungry and asked if they could tell me where to find a meal.
Their response was to insist that they take me out to dinner. I was asked to hop on the back of the police bike (a Qinqi 150) to the restaurant (where they insisted on paying) and after dinner the policeman offered me the police bike to ride back to the hotel on. I rode whilst he was pillion! Can you imagine that happening in Australia? At no time have any police asked about my lack of a licence or registration - it is of no interest to them.

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