14degrees off the beaten track
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June 28th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,China

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Today’s distance / ???????: 42.6 miles / 68.5km
Average speed / ????: 8.9mph / 14.3km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 4h 46m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 5275mi plus 377mi (?) / 8490km plus 606km (?)
Ascent / ??: n/a
Descent / ??: n/a
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N39° 21′ 32.70″, E099° 03′ 18.00″

I am definitely liking this better routine of skating. Getting on the road at around 8am and finishing up at late afternoon creates a much better rythym, and allows for a better night’s sleep and much more preferrable eating times. Much better than on the road at 6am, skating till 11am, trying to rest till 6pm, then skating till 9pm, as was the case across the desert in Xinjiang.

There were pockets of green oasis in between large areas of arid land today. The regular green spots broke the monotony up nicely.

Wheat (east of Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China)

Open steppe east of Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China

In the green islands, I would find small stalls selling everything from watermelon, apricots, nectarines (these three are local) to lychees and bananas (imported from other regions of China). I steered clear of the delicious looking apricots (not being able to wash them or peel them makes them a prime suspect for stomach woes), and focussed on the watermelons, bananas, and lychees. Lychees were a favourite as they don’t squash like bananas, and are lighter than watermelons.

Lychee (east of Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China)

Interestingly I met two people who could speak English today. One was a man who used to work as a professor of agriculture, and another was a young guy who works at a hops producing company in Xiaheqing, the town I had lunch in today. He is a data entry drone in an office in the company. “I do not like my job,” he told me. “It is very tiring.”

I have noticed interesting looking decives that I can only assume are for boiling water, here in Gansu. It was overcast today, so none were in use, but there were many of these in the towns I skated through. Mirrors are angled towards the pot stand, assumably directing the sun towards whatever needs to b heated.

Reflector for boiling water/cooking rice? (near Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China)

I pushed on to the small town of Qingshui, and arrived there around 3pm. The only inn in town was at a noisy intersection, with long distance busses leaning on their ear piercing air-horns for up to 10 seconds in duration as they sped through the town.

My room in the inn was on the second floor, and looked towards the mountains south of here. The mountains I have been skating towards for the last week or so, forever getting closer. I know from the map that I will not cross these mountains for a good 300km or so yet, but I look forward to it!

Mountains south of Qingshui, Gansu Province, China

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    Permanent Link     Comments (2)

Comment by Mum — July 2, 2008 @ 12:08 am | post a comment

The mountains look a closer than 300km!

Comment by Aunty Les — July 2, 2008 @ 12:16 am | post a comment

A pity that apricots can't be peeled. It would be interesting to see what Chinese apricots tasted like. I ate lychees in Bangladesh. The season for them was very short so I always got hold of as many as I could. The tinned variety available in NZ have no taste much at all.

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