Don’t tell my Mom I rode 17,000kms from China to her house in Normandy, France with a stolen Yamaha XT250X prototype crossing the middle east on the way.
Episode 3: Kung-Fu and Stone Soldiers.
Hi fellow riders, how is it going ?
So, when I left the story last time, my friend Matthieu and I were leaving the Chinese city of Zhengzhou
Everything started to feel more wild on the road now, more country side, more mountain roads and the cities were getting smaller.
We both felt in a very cool routine of waking up ; breakfasting ; getting on the bike ; stopping when we felt hungry or wanted to go for some sightseeing ; finding a place to stay at night ; going out visiting the place where we stopped! Great times !
I also started to get very confident with the bike and driving faster than any other Chinese vehicle on the road (not so hard), while horning and flashing lights all I could to be noticed by everyone.
I was using sidewalks and bicycles ways to drive while we were driving in the cities (everything is allowed when you are on a 2-wheeler in China, it is considered like a bicycle in most places). It was a lot of fun and a good way to evacuate the pressure of some very long days !
Around 2 weeks after the start of the trip we arrived in a city called DongFeng
We arrived at 5pm and there were kids practicing Kung-Fu everywhere in the streets ! There was a lot of Kung-Fu schools all around this town !
The surroundings of this town are enchanting and breath-taking, here are some pictures and a video :
After 2 days in this place, we hit the road again in the direction of the big city Xi’an
where the terracotta warriors are !
On the way we crossed a famous coal region of China, one of the most polluted of the world, the air is horrible.
This is what I look like after 2 hours driving on the roads in this area.
We drove a little bit south of Linfen
city, which is internationaly known for the quality of its air :
« It has been mentioned by Blacksmith Institute as one of the most polluted cities in the world, and the world's dirtiest city by The Mother Nature Network. It has also been chosen as one of the world's ten dirtiest cities by the Popular Science website. » Source : wikipedia.
We then enjoy the life in Xi’an, going for some parties, good food, nice hotels. We got a cool German-Chinese couple hosting us (thanks Jarula W. and Yao Guo !).
Then we go for a handshake with the famous terracotta warriors, we see a lot of foreigners there, that has been a long time I have so many white faces
Now some info about these stone guys, I won’t steal the show to wikipedia so here is the online encyclopedy moment you have all been waiting for :
« The figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers near Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China near the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (Chinese: 秦始皇陵
; pinyin: Qín Shǐ
The figures vary in height 1.83–1.95 metres (6.0–6.4 ft), according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits. »
Gracias wikipedia, now here are a few of my shots :
This was then the time for Matthieu B. to take his flight back to France after almost 3 epic weeks of travelling in China.
We both had a great share of adventures and it was unforgetables times loaded with tons of adventures. Merci Matt, à bientôt !
I was now alone on the Yamaha Prototype, going west, my first hours driving alone were fantastic as I was crossing gorgeous mountain roads filled with fresh air and nothing but the sound of my engine roaring.
One piece of equipment is now added to my shoes, helmet and 10 dollars gloves : an offical blue and black Yamaha jacket paid 80 dollars in the Xi’an Yamaha shop.
I am slowly starting to look like a real biker now !
The Chinese guys from the Yamaha Shop in Xi’an were very friendly and cleaned and checked my bike all for free and waved me good luck ! They were quite surprised to see a Yamaha XT250X, they never saw this model before.
: Floods, vultures and tibetans.
Thank you all for your comments it makes it a pleasure to write these articles !
Fred, writing from down south Buenos Aires, 9th October 2010.
PS : I added an Index in the Introduction article in order to make the reading of the whole report easier !