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Home / Trip Diary / Heilongjiang / Day 11 – More Nasty Roads Ahead

Day 11 – More Nasty Roads Ahead

July 29th; 121km; Anda, HLJ to Qiqihar, HLJ

Not a fun day today really at all. We were back on track and even though the roads were more or less paved (not the mud and construction from yesterday), they were not in good condition.

There seemed to be a constant stream of sections of road that were completely dilapidated. We would be cruising along at about 80km/h when out of nowhere would appear gravel and potholes. Sometimes these would be massive pits that I would have to find a relatively flat path around in the gravel and mud. Amy frequently had to get off the bike to make it lighter, which raised the bike a bit, and made it easier for me to navigate around the holes at slow speeds.

Cows in the chinese countryside

Stampeding cows on the horrendous roads we spent all day on.

All of this made today much less productive then we would have liked and certainly more tiring. My left hand is really starting to get sore now from how often I’m using the clutch during all of this “off-roading”

Interestingly, the worst section of the day was right on the outskirts of the city where we ended up staying. It was almost like a moat of some kind protecting the city from outsiders. There was a 10km approach that seemed to be the only way into the city (from the south at least) that was pretty much like a dirt bike track, with sharp inclines, lots of gravel, and sharp turns.

A storm's a brewin' as we stop in our first town in Inner Mongolia

A storm’s a brewin’ as we stop in our first town in Inner Mongolia

This approach was particularly strange because the city itself, once arriving at the city center, was relatively clean and bustling. The outskirts where we came from felt like the whole city was still under construction, with half built apartment complexes, unfinished roads, cranes, and construction sites everywhere you looked!

We’re really going to have to start re-thinking our northern detour if the roads continue on like this. We barely made any progress today and if the roads are like this all the way up to the Russian border, it could put a serious dent in our schedule.

About Buck

Buck, originally from New York, first came to China in 2006 traveling with some friends and immediately fell in love with the country, returning frequently including a semester studying at Tsinghua University in 2009. He finally moved to Beijing after graduating from the University of Toronto in 2010. He has a passion for adventure and travel, completing numerous long distance motorcycling and hiking trips around the U.S., Canada, and China including a circumnavigation of the U.S. (13,840km) and a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (3,500km). When he's not wandering (and sometimes when he is), Buck works as a web developer and marketing consultant in Beijing.