Monday November 17, 2014345 miles We have ridden long hours in the last four days because our China visas expire tomorrow – our 30 days is up. The last three have been in the mountains of South East Asia and it is everything we had pictured it to be -muddy mountain roads and lush tropical plants. It is everything we had hoped for as we have ridden and walked the sometimes steep roads through many villages. And yes we do have to walk at times as the mud literally flows and the tires just spin.
It is adventure cycling at its finest. Today we had to stop every few miles and wash our bikes or use our favorite tool, chopsticks, to dig out the mud from the tires and fenders and also the derailleurs and brakes. When clogged with mud neither will work, in fact the wheels will not roll at all. We knew there was a better way to use chopsticks!
The second and third days we were on the road over 12 hours each and well into the darkness and finally camped in China. It is illegal for foreigners to camp here but many do as there is not much in between the tiny villages. It was a bit scary as the jungle comes alive at night with birds, insects, and critters walking around. Add to that the wind blowing through the banana groves and it can get a little scary. So we both kind of napped until first light.
We arrived at the border town and splurged on a very nice hotel at $60 and turned the shower and sink into a mud bath as we cleaned everything after 4 days on the road. Tomorrow we will enter Vietnam!