Dunhuang to Jiayuguan
Situated between the Qilian Mountains in the south and the Gobi desert to the north and recorded in Chinese myths and legends, Jiayuguan has often been referred to as a remote desolate outpost on the edge of the wilderness. It is also the location for the last fort of the Great Wall of China.
The last few days have been uneventful for the most part, flat perfectly paved rods, not much of a head wind (we’re not complaining) and the terrain much the same. We have seen some nice snow capped mountains in the south and both Max and Trine rode two days in one to get to Jaiyuguan ahead of time. This was a perfect time to test their physical fitness and Max’s navigational skills, as well as get an extra well earned rest day in Jiayuguan!!
We have been riding on the GZ45 main expressway for the last few days, and although bicycles are not supposed to be riding on this expressway, it seems as though they had cyclists in mind when they constructed it. They built a perfectly smooth six foot wide shoulder for us to ride on!! Our last camp had us in a section of the desert with one of the busiest rail lines I have ever seen to our South, the expressway to the North, a windmill farm to the West and desert plains to the east. It is always fun to have a variety of different camping accommodations along the way and anywhere is a possible camp sight for the Silk Route Expedition!!.
The next few days will unfortunately be some of our last for camping as we are now getting into the more populated Eastern China, with all of the huge cities we pass through. The distance we cover in a day leaves us only the option of small hotels. I will definitely miss camping out at night, the solidarity of my own tent, Miles’ awesome dinners and crisp early mornings. Onto a new leg of the journey, the urban homestretch!!