We Arrived Safely in Beijing!!!!!
For almost one third of the year, we have been eating, sleeping, camping and biking together – all working together towards a common goal – to bike over 10,000km through 8 countries (we flew over one of them!!) from Istanbul,Turkey to Beijing, China!!
We arrived safely here into Beijing yesterday at approx 12:30pm. The first stop before celebrating at the hotel finish line was at Tienanmen Square where we took some quick group photos. A huge picture of Mr. Mao stood in the background in front of the entrance to the Forbidden City! Our last day had us riding just over 95km, the last 30km of which Ben and Shanny led the group to the finish line in a group convoy.
We were welcomed at the hotel by Miles who made it to the finish line a few days earlier in order to organize a nice celebratory banquet and a special dinner. When it comes to food, whether cooking or ordering for the group, Miles never lets you down! He had prepared a great spread of really nice champagnes and wines (which are almost impossible to find in China), cold beer, tasty cheeses, nice chocolate and many other good foods and drink to indulge in after so long without many of these luxury items.
After we stuffed our faces, patted each other on the back and took some final photos, we had a little slide show. Then it was off to shower and relax a bit before heading out for a Peking duck dinner and a Chinese opera, Beijing style.
Hard to believe that it is all over; 3½ months dedicated towards this common goal and I think we can all say that it was time well spent. Today had everyone packing their bikes up into boxes, getting rid of unwanted gear and sorting out final details of flights and hotels – just getting overall reorganized. We said our final goodbyes today as we are all heading out in different directions!!
Congratulations to everyone on a safe and successful expedition, and the best of luck to you all in the years to come. We overcame many hurdles and obstacles along the way and still reached our common goal. Remember, we create our own opportunities in life and there will always be many obstacles – only we choose which ones will become barriers!!!
Ben Shillington “Silk Route Tour Leader 2008”