14degrees off the beaten track
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August 25th, 2006 | categorizilation: all categories,China

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Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離:74km
Time on bike / 走行時間:4h 27mm
Average speed / 平均速度:16.7km/h
Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離:1574km

A fitful sleep in the brick kiln due to flapping bats and scratching mice began a day that would end in me discovering that I no longer had a camera.

It was pretty much flat all the way to Yining from the kiln, so I took my time to take plenty of photos and video on the way.

I arrived in Yining at around 3pm, and headed for the center of town for lunch. While I sat eating nan bread and honeydew melon, a crowd of at least 20 people crowded around looking at the foreigner and his bike.

After lunch two Uighyr guys spent at least 45 minutes walking around with me to find a cheap place to stay. Most of the places we went to would not admit foreigners, and we were frequently told to go to the expensive hotels in the middle of town. We did find a reasonable place in the end, at 25RMB a night for my own room.

It was when I was sorting out my luggage when I discovered my camera was missing. Only the case remained. I usually attach the camera case to the bike on one of the panniers so that I have easy access to it while I am riding. Silly me, I had not been vigilant enough to remove the camera every time that I left the bike. I think that the camera was pinched while I was in one of the hotels asking about rooms. Gutted. It was a jolly good camera.

So the mission for today was to find a store that sold digital cameras. The net cafe people directed me to a camera store down the road that sold them, and an hour later I walked out with a Canon Powershot A540. They did not stock the Powershot A700 that was stolen, but the A540 seems to have most of the features of the A700, apart from the 6x zoom. The A540 has a 4x zoom. Also, the lense on the A540 is not as large as the A700. I’m not much of a cameraman, so I doubt I will tell the difference. Hopefully insurance will cover some of the cost.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (6)

Comment by Aunty Les — August 27, 2006 @ 3:36 am | post a comment

Although I've been checking in each day the last 3 day-blogs all arrived today.

I guess China's so large that it takes forever for local people to cotton on to the fact that their towh is off limits to foreigners. I wonder why some towns are and others aren't and who decides which is what? It certainkly seems strange to have one or 2 towns on a route off limits for foreigners and other towns pefectly ok. Perhaps the local police just make that decision on the spur of the moment to make some money!

Comment by Aunty Jenny — August 27, 2006 @ 6:34 pm | post a comment

Gutted about your camera Rob, but at least you were able to get another one, so you can kep those great photos coming. As Aunty Les said, Chris stayed at our place on Sunday night. It was great to see him again. He called in to see Rach and Sam when he was in Dunedin. I'm not sure if he is staying the night here on his return, but no doubt he will let us know.

Comment by malc — August 28, 2006 @ 12:02 am | post a comment

Stink bro. The 540 is pretty sweet though. a few less features. I looked at getting it when I go thr a700 – which is the best camera in the world and I love to bits. Kinda fun you got to go through the no foreigners place. It would be dumb if they didnt let you in. that'd be a bit harder than paying too much money and being sneaky.

Comment by Aunty Lyn — August 28, 2006 @ 1:07 am | post a comment

it is soooo great to read your adventures. Interesting how people are people no matter where in the world you go eh? Hope you can get a camera – we have enjoyed the fabulous photos. I keep thinking how similar to the McKenzie country the scenery is.

Comment by Daniel — August 30, 2006 @ 4:51 am | post a comment

I can assure you that the A540 will satisfy you completely. You can see pictures of a recent trip my mother and me took to the Alps: http://web.mac.com/martina.lang/iWeb/BPSThearpie….
Keep ridin' and better luck!

Comment by Rob Thomson — September 8, 2006 @ 3:44 am | post a comment

Malcolm, the A540 is OK ish. I am noticing the less wide lense though. I was loving the wide angle lense on the A700, especially when it came to really close up macros.

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