08 May, 2008
On the road day 7 - 1/2 day) Xian to Lingbao - 300km.
Xian to Lingbao - 300km.
Today I took it easy and spent only half my day in the saddle.
After spending the morning changing traveller's cheques and a brief walking tour of Xian it was 1pm before I hit the road.
I had my usual struggles finding the correct route out of town but once on my way I found the riding much easier now that was back on the flat lands. Alas along with the mountains went much of the beauty. Temperatures were also rising again back and the land was clearly more arid than before.
Overall it was a relatively straight forward 1/2 day ride with the only difficulties being the usual constant roadworks, finding my way into and out of the small cities (cities with an average population of 250,000 are roughly 100kms apart with many smaller towns of 100,000 citizens dotted in between), and avoiding the truck drivers who believe they own the road.
However, I did find difficulties in finding a hotel in Lingbao. I was turned away from all of the smaller establishments and pointed to the main tourist hotel in town. Being quite late by this stage I was worried that even they may not accommodate me and I might be sleeping by the side of the road. As it turned out the hotel was more than happy to have me as a guest and even though I paid the premium rate, it was less than $20 per night, representing excellent value as I am sure I would easily pay 10 times that much for the equivalent at home.