14degrees off the beaten track
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May 3rd, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories

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Today’s distance / ???????: 28 miles / 43km
Average speed / ????: 10mph / 16km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 2h 54m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 4321mi plus 280mi (?) / 6954km plus 450km (?)
Ascent / ??: 240m
Descent / ??: 145m
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N44° 33′ 12.30″, E083° 22′ 56.60″

Decided to get rid of my tent today. Too much weight. Sod it. Don’t need such trivial things like a tent. I did keep the rain fly, just in case…

I arrive at the post office, and a voice of a girl calls out. “Hello! How are you?”

Ugh, another Chinese school kid who just wants to see if the trained monkey foriegn tourist will react in an interesting way….or so I thought.

Joy Galleno is her name, and she is the daughter in a family of Pillipinos currently working as English teachers here in Jinghe. He timing could not have been better, and with her help I had my tent sent ahead of me to Funboxx in no time. Thanks guys!

Helpful Philipino family in Jinghe, XInjiang, China

Skating out of Jinghe, I was treated to some classic Chinese peculiarities. In this case, a recreation of some classic Chinese sights.

The Great Wall:

The great wall already? (near Jinghe, Xinjiang, China)

And what I assume is something from the south west (no mentioning names at this stage – don’t want the site blocked).

Arrived in Tibet? (near Jinghe, Xinjiang, China)

Stopping for a quick refill of water, I asked if there were any stores up the road.

“None for 40km,” the truck-stop owner said. “No people for 40km. Only Gobi Desert.”

Whoa…so I decided to have an early lunch. It was only 10am. I couldn’t finish all the noodles I was served, so I pakced them up in my Gatorade container for the road.

While eating, the kids took great pleasure in playing with Rig.

Kazakh kids play with Rig near Jinghe, Xinjiang, China

Leaving the truck stop laden with water and food, the road stretched out in front of me. Beautiful smooth, even-gradient wonder that is a Chinese expressway…

Even gradient on Expressway 312 somewhere near Jinghe, Xinjiang, China

It didn’t take long to hit a wall. My legs were complaining. My gut was complaining. Time to take a rest. At 1pm I found a nice comfy culvert and laid down for an hour. In three hours, I woke up. I wrote the rest of the day off.

Sleeping spot 45km from Jinghe, Xinjiang, China

By the way, that ‘broom’ in the right side of the picture is covering a human poop. Very common in culverts on the highway. What better place for a quiet response to nature’s call.

They could at least do it in the gravel and bury it…but hey, that’s my silly foreigner’s silly opinion.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (3)

Comment by Timmy C — May 6, 2008 @ 1:38 pm | post a comment

well how was whoever's leaving's they are to know that some crazy foreigner was going to want to camp right there?

Comment by Aunty Les — May 6, 2008 @ 2:18 pm | post a comment

It seems incredible that the Chinese roads in the middle of nowhere are better than the roads in Texas!

Comment by Rob Thomson — May 6, 2008 @ 8:51 pm | post a comment

Aunty Les, the main roads, and any of the secondary roads that are paved so far that I have encountered are all asphalt. I haven't encountered any chipseal surfaces. That said, the roads in the US are better all-round if you're talking about consistent 'flatness'. Many of the paved secondary roads so far in China have been very humpy. The expressway has had the nicest surfaces (which is the same in the US). The difference in China as opposed to the US in respect to the expressways is that in China there is next-to-no traffic on the expressway. A car every few minutes, rather than 100 a minute.

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