14degrees off the beaten track
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August 22nd, 2006 | categorizilation: all categories,China

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Now we’re talking! Highlights of the last few days:

  • 4200m pass
  • Two 3000m plus passes (both not on the map I have)
  • 170km of rough, rough, mostly uphill in first gear roads
  • Getting really, really hungry and really really sick of Chinese instant noodles
  • Amazing people, amazing generosity
  • Amazing, amazing scenery
  • Cruizing through Mike C’s dad’s birthplace

Hopefully I will have photos up for you tomorrow, and will try to get through all your very supportive comments! They are very appreciated!

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    Permanent Link     Comments (19)

Comment by Peter Parnes — August 23, 2006 @ 2:35 pm | post a comment

Wow, sounds like great trip. Was there really no place to eat? (other than instant noodles that is).

Comment by Ruosi — August 24, 2006 @ 3:20 am | post a comment

hey Rob,i'm watching your progress closely these days. what should i say?… hmmm..

man~!! that's amazing,

please do hug every chinese you see on the road and in the restaurant, say i miss them…

and if you say "HAU CHEE" or even "THAI HAU CHEE LA!!" to a small restaurant owners they'd give you their best food (definately better than instant noodles) in the restaurant, without any charge!

Comment by Chris J — August 24, 2006 @ 6:06 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Great to see that you are still cruzing along and enjoying your trip. I will look forward to the pictures!

Comment by Aunty Les — August 24, 2006 @ 1:53 pm | post a comment

Good to hear that you've got to where you wanted to go. You must be pretty fit by now! Really looking forward to the pictures.

Your 'little' brother, Chris, was here for the night on Monday. He's in NZ for a brief visit on his way back to Canada. He made $12,000 in his hand for the 2 months work at the Alumina Refinery plus getting a very fat tax rebate for his work there last year. He hasn't changed much except for less hair on his head. He's doing a rushed trip further south to catch up on friends and rellies.

I've started packing stuff. I've almost emptied my bookshelves. Aunty Jen is going to have the china cabinet as it won't fit in our smaller new house, so I'm in the process of packing up that stuff.

Comment by Aunty Les — August 24, 2006 @ 2:16 pm | post a comment

By the way, Rob, did you encounter any snow? I've been following your progress in our world atlas and while there are mountain ranges on it (shan)including a pass of 4562m passed Houxia, if I've got your bearings right, and snow indicated at Ulastai and Qagan Nur. It looks okay from Narat to Yining, ie not so hilly and maybe down hill most of the way to Yining. The mountains of Kyrgyzstan are much higher, but they're in the south and I presume you'll be passing through the north of that country.

Comment by Mr. Jeff — August 24, 2006 @ 10:04 pm | post a comment

Nice! Keep those legs pumping!

Thanks for the links about going solar. Looks like it won't be feasible without having to carry a large array and a large and heavy battery. So it goes….

Keep rolling brother!


Comment by David — August 25, 2006 @ 12:01 am | post a comment

Hey Rob, things are hot hot hot in Beppu, but that hasn't kept me off my bike. I've been riding all over the place the last couple weeks, through rain and shine and a typhoon or two.

From tomorrow, the last couple days of summer vacation, I am heading out for a three day trip south through Taketa and Kuju. I got a luggage rack for the bike and everything. Little baby steps, right? Soon enough I'll be crossing continents with ease!

Comment by Jim Gagnepain — August 25, 2006 @ 1:06 pm | post a comment

WTG Rob. Hang in there. How many kilometers before you're out of China. Wish we could fix you a nice home cooked Japanese meal. My wife grew up in Japan, and does a great job with the cuisine.

Comment by carl w. — August 25, 2006 @ 3:14 pm | post a comment

4200m excellent job, have you shaken the fillings out of your teeth yet on the way down?

anyway hope all goes well and look forward to the pictures….

all the best


Comment by rachel Callander — August 25, 2006 @ 8:47 pm | post a comment

You're incredible


Comment by Gurian Ch — August 26, 2006 @ 3:34 am | post a comment

Hi Rob

My son Mike told me about your trip to Narat my birthplace . It's very interestin to see. A lot of thing are now coming back to me after being away from Narat and Alotubo for over 41 years. You are very brave to do what you are doing. Is it too late to ask you to take 360 degrees of pictures around Narat and Alotubo? Thanks again

Cheers Gurian

Comment by Michael Chernishov — August 26, 2006 @ 9:28 pm | post a comment

Hi Rob! You're a legend! Thanks for posting the photos about my Dad's birth place! Dad and I are stoked!

Where are you now? Are there internet cafes in Narat?

Keep those primo photos coming!

And I hope you find something good to eat soon!

God bless,


Comment by Rob Thomson — August 27, 2006 @ 4:02 am | post a comment

Gurian, thank you for the comment. I don't think I am brave. Just have no other choice but to proceed one turn of the wheel after the other! As for the 360 photos of Narat and Alatubo, I have taken some panorama photos and many other photos including video of riding through the town. Once I get somewhere that will allow me to burn the video and photos to CD, I will send them to you.

Comment by Rob Thomson — August 27, 2006 @ 4:04 am | post a comment

Ruosi, I have the "HEN HAO CHEE" down pat and it works like a charm! Thanks.

Comment by Rob Thomson — August 27, 2006 @ 4:07 am | post a comment

Aunty Les, thank you for all the great updates. Perhaps you should get yourself a blog of your own! I think it would make very informative reading for the family! As for snow, as you would have read in my blog, there was snow up in the pass (the one marked as 4560m), but not bad enough not to be able to pedal up the road. And yes, the pass is marked wrong on the maps. It is actually 4200m acording to the sign.

Comment by Rob Thomson — August 27, 2006 @ 4:08 am | post a comment

Jim, only one day till I'm out of China. It's all a bit scary heading into unknown territory that is central Asia, but I'm sure everything will be fine. And I wish you could cook me up a Japanese meal too! I can't seem to find food that suits me here…

Comment by Rob Thomson — August 27, 2006 @ 4:10 am | post a comment

Peter, from Urumqi to Narat via the 216 and 218 route, there are very little places to eat. Generally only one meal per day could be bought. The rest relied on what I was carrying. It is quite remote country through there.

Comment by Rob Thomson — August 27, 2006 @ 4:14 am | post a comment

David, good to hear about the progress! Remember, when you're cycling for long distances over a long period, you can pretty much eat what you want, and as much as you want! Kinda sucks when there is nothing tasty to eat though…

Comment by Robyn-Jane — August 31, 2006 @ 3:02 am | post a comment

what does HEN HAO CHEE mean!!!!????

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