14degrees off the beaten track
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May 14th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,China

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Today’s distance / ???????: 30 miles / 47km
Average speed / ????: 9.9mph / 16km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 2h 58m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 4677mi plus 280mi (?) / 7528km plus 450km (?)
Ascent / ??: 105m
Descent / ??: 405m
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N42° 56′ 29.80″, E089° 10′ 33.70″

The howling wind lasted all night. I think I may have dozed off to sleep for a couple of hours during the night. Otherwise I just rested. Wind breezing across my face.
Around 5am, I opened my eyes to check out the stars, and noticed the first faint glow of morning on the horizon. If we were to get to Turpan before the heat hit us, we would need to get going soon. I put off the inevitable decision to get up until 5:30am.

At 5:31am, I pulled myself up. Legs are sore. Must go. Must go through the motions to get on the road again. At least the wind was still howling behind us. At 0615 Marija and I were on the road again. We were both tired. Stopwatch set to 40 minutes. We are taking frequent breaks to avoid heat-stress, and to stretch.

For the first 40 minutes, I was just going through the motions. This is usually the way for me. First thing in the morning I am not into it at all. The second 40 minutes, and for the rest of the way to Turpan, I was in a zone. Fatboy Slim and Fuel pumping music into my brain via my MP3 player.

Passed MM4000. Only 4,000km to go to Shanghai.

4,000km to go to Shanghai in Xinjiang Province, China

We arrived in Turpan just as the heat of the day was beginning to hit unbearable status. The tree-lined walkways of this beautiful oasis of a desert city were a welcome escape from the direct sunlight.

Rolling into Turpan, Xinjiang Province, China

We stopped in at an internet cafe to scope out a cheap place to stay. Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum came up with no positive hits, so I tried searching for a cheap hotel in Japanese. Turpan is a popular destination for young solo Japanese tourists. Young solo Japanese tourists are stingier than the stingiest Scott. Sure enough, I found a possible place for us. A cheap hotel, The Transport Hotel, next to the long distance bus station on Laocheng Rd in Turpan. 25RMB a night for a bed in a shared 4-bed dorm room.

Marija and I arrived and promptly entered rest mode. Ate some lunch, slept, ate some more, and slept some more. We finally left the hotel to take in some sights of this bustling city once the day began to turn dark and cool off.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (2)

Comment by David V — May 16, 2008 @ 8:00 am | post a comment

He remembers the 日本語!

I myself am trying to make a career of my Japanese as a translator, but I am still on the job hunt. Makes me wanna take a couple years off and unicycle across the planet!

Comment by Mum — May 16, 2008 @ 11:52 pm | post a comment

Seems strange that your Japanese has come in so handy in the middle of China!

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