July 21st – 429km – Chengde to Huludao
I think that today the trip actually felt like it was really starting for me. On Friday when we left Beijing, it was more like we were getting away; today though was more like we were finally moving forward.
Amy and I wanted to do a big day today to make up for our day 2 rest day. With just over 840km to get to Dandong, our next major destination, we figured we’d try and push it there in 2 days to get outlet average back up.
Overall the day wasn’t too difficult. The weather was perfectly clear (which worked against us once it hit mid afternoon and the sun was cooking us in our safety gear) and the roads continued to be really nice. At times the area reminded me of some of the scenery I’ve seen in the south around Guilin, with steep mountains reaching straight up through a light mist, covered in a mix of both stone and greenery.
We also worked on getting all of our systems and routines down today so as to make the rest of the trip a little easier. We brought a lot of recording equipment along with us to document the great ride, but without a crew or even a dedicated cameraman to help, it can get pretty complicated managing it all, not mention getting ourselves safely through every province in china in one piece. We are starting to get the hang of it though as our systematic packing of all our SD cards, extra batteries, chargers, and mounts is coming together.
Road Angels- Making Friends on the Road
We had a very endearing experience today at our lunch stop in the small city of Jiancheng. The owners were very excited to meet some foreigners and after taking photos, chatting about the area, and talking about our trip, they gave us our lunch (plus some extra waters for the road) completely for free! It made me really excited for what we have in store for us down the road as we start to meet genuinely nice and friendly people all over the country and just to have the opportunity to learn more about them.