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Old 06-14-2010, 09:46 PM   #31
Smackit OP
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Location: Guangdong, China & Reno NV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshallblank
Great RR!!

I've never heard Galaxy before.. how much did u spent for purchasing this bike??
The bike, registration, insurance, upgrades, racks and hard luggage were about $3000 USD and a boat-load of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobBD
Great Report, I love the look of that countryside - quite a few Eucalypts on the side of the roads - that Aussie export has found its way all over the world.
I assume you all speak some Mandarin? would it be possible to do a trip like this with arm waving,pointing, laughing(crying!!!) and no mandarin?
I speak basic Mandarin which is good enough for traveling, but not good enough for deep discussions.

Felix is fluent, and also pretty good at reading Chinese characters.

Daniel was new to China and only spoke a few words, but he is fluent in "hand gesturing" as he has travelled the world extensively. We usually lied to him about what people were saying .

Mandarin will only take you so far in China, a lot of people speak strange dialects that are almost impossible to understand. Smiles and hand gestures will take you far in this world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukeman
Having studied in Dalian, I'm a huge fan of the China ride reports. The scenery in the south is amazing. I miss throwing back a few of the big returnables 干杯! I'm insanely jealous.

Sorry about laying the bike down, do you think its just oil on the road, poor rubber? I know the Chinese trucks are notorious for leaking oil. Its a bit stressful not feeling confident around bends with uncertain conditions.
Yes, I'm pretty sure it was just an oil spot and bad luck. A lot of areas in Southern China have this oily road surface, I actually prefer concrete as it seems to give better grip. You generally have at least one adrenalin moment every day and this does add a bit of stress, but sure is worth it!

I'm almost done with the pics for day 10, should be up in a few more hours.

Cheers!
ChinaV
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:56 AM   #32
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Day 10

If you're a light sleeper, never share a room with your riding buddies. On the two occasions in my life I've done so, both could have gone the wrong way and ended in murder. As the straight pipe Harley Davidson sleeping next to me continued to slumber, I decided to get up and start the morning ritual around 5:30. Felix and Daniel were soon to follow and we actually managed to get on the road by 7:00.

We had inquired about directions and road conditions the night before, and my earlier hunch was proven correct. The road we were now on may become S216 someday, but for now, it's basically just a logging trail through the mountains. It's hardly used, and almost impassible on anything other than a motorcycle. This sounded like a lot of fun, so we headed off to find gas and filled up at this "full service" station.



A local villager circles a stupa while out for her morning stroll.



This is the town we stayed in. It looked so peaceful compared to the shit storm of construction and mining only 2 kilometers behind us.



Flowers, no idea what kind.



This woman seemed quite interested in our bikes as we passed by. It's not an easy life here, you can see it in her hands and face.







One of many small bridges we passed on our way up the mountain. Most of them were very narrow and barely strong enough for motorcycles. I couldn't imagine trying to get through with a 4WD.



This place is heaven on a dirt bike.









We stopped at this pile of Mani stones and chatted with a local gentleman. He was sporting a very cool knife and mentioned we might need one in some spots where the road gets bad. The Mani stones are plates inscribed with a six syllable mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" (Hail to the jewel in the lotus). We will be seeing lots more, as we are now traveling in the Tibetan area of Sichuan.



As the elevation increases, so do the Yak sightings.





We finally reach a peak at 4400 meters / 14,435 feet, and decide to yak with the yaks for a while.



We always seemed to find perfect campsites at ten o'clock in the morning. Wish we had made it here last night.





Looking off into the distance, you can see the 3 holy peaks, which were blessed in the eighth century by Buddha Padmasambhava. The south peak Jambeyang (mostly hidden to the left) at 5,958m/19,547ft is the avatar of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Chanadorje (middle) also 5,958m/19,547ft represents Vajrapani , the Bodhisattva of Wrath. Chenresig (right) at 6,032m/19,790ft, the highest of the trio, symbolizes Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Mercy. It is said that if a Tibetan makes a pilgrimage to the shrine 3 times in their life, they will be blessed with all they desire.



We descended for over two hours, and as the afternoon wore on, our stomachs started to grumble. We hadn't seen any sign of civilization, and at one point, the road became little more than a trail passing through the trees. As we arrived at a junction, we were fortunate enough to meet a passing stranger who told us we would come to a logging camp in about three kilometers. We may even find some food there. Upon arrival, we were happy to see lots of beer, but the only food to be found were a couple containers of instant ramen noodles (starch, salt, MSG) good enough for us. This lady stopped to gaze at the strange foreigners, I liked the combination of ethnic dress complimented with her "Chairman Mao" hat.



The cow was hoping to get in on some of our noodle action. Mooooo sounds the same in Chinese, in case you were wondering.



We made it out of the logging forest and the scenery turned harsh. A deep gorge with the fast running Wuliang River was bordered by mountains that were brown and devoid of almost any vegetation. The only green areas were the tiny Tibetan villages dotting the sides of the hills. How these people survive here is a testament to their strong will. There was a newly built bridge spanning the river and I knew this was the crossing for S216. The problem, again, was that the road ended after two kilometers. The line showing S216 continuing west on the map was nothing more than an optimistic view of a road that will exist, someday. With nobody around to ask directions, we decided to head north. Not that we really had much choice, move forward and hope for the best, or backtrack 75 kilometers through the mountains. Onward ho!



Moving forward was working out well for us, and we eventually met a nice man tending his fields. We asked if the road would bring us to Daocheng and he nodded in approval. He told us the road could only be crossed by motorcycle or horseback and it would probably take four or five hours. I looked at the map and GPS, then estimated maybe forty kilometers. How could that take four hours? Surely the old man must have meant by horseback. Roughly four hours later we were half way to our destination looking for a campsite. Pretty smart old man.



After an hour of climbing, we had only covered about 10 kilometers, or roughly 200 meters as the crow flies.



We stopped at this small stupa and made a round of prayers. Make sure you walk around these from the left, as that is the custom of the Tibetans in this region.



The prayer wheels, spun clockwise. The direction in which the earth and the universe revolve, according to Buddhist doctrine



As it started to get late, we stopped in several of these Tibetan towns trying to find food, water and beer.



One of the local children taking care of her brother. Shy but curious.



Around 7:00 we finally resolved to camping at the next piece of flat ground. The canyon walls were steep and offered no place to set up a tent. There was little vegetation to hide behind, and whatever we seemed to find was obviously privately owned land that we were not keen to camp on without permission. We passed a bridge, and the low water level provided a nice sandy spot for us to call home for the night. It was a bit more exposed than we would have liked, but seemed like a safe enough place to settle. Finally we were camping, now if we could just get the damn stove going, life should be good.



A friend and I always pick names for our campsites, so I guess I will name this one "Camp Bridge-side". The location turned out to be pretty good. A very friendly man had a house nearby, and he brought us gifts of firewood, walnuts, and some super strong hooch (moonshine). The conversation went late into the night as he shared many stories of how the area and people had changed since he was a child. With a billion stars overhead, the glow of the campfire, and the lack of my buddies snoring, I slept like rock.



That was probably one of the most epic days I've ever experienced on a motorcycle.

Cheers!
ChinaV

Distance = 130 Kilometers - Time = 11:00 Hours - Average Moving Speed = 21 kph

Smackit screwed with this post 04-19-2013 at 09:23 PM Reason: Repaired Photo Links
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:23 AM   #33
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Great RR...
Thanks a lot for the share...
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:17 AM   #34
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Excellent ride report.
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Old 06-15-2010, 06:27 AM   #35
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Thank you so much for such an excellent RR!
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:51 PM   #36
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It wouldnt be a an authentic CHina Adventure with a photo of Mans Best Friend on the spit! A doggy platter! Yum yum.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:39 PM   #37
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Awesome RR , Any more pics of rice terraces in beautiful Yunnan?
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Old 06-15-2010, 03:37 PM   #38
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Love the China ride reports, its a part of the world we see too little of. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 06-15-2010, 05:29 PM   #39
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Great Pics!
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:46 PM   #40
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ChinaV, good stories! So sorry to see you taking those spills. Maybe you need to walk around a stupa (three times?) to change your luck!

Were you wearing a helmet cam when you became an anti-bridge missile?

Last, I thought foreigners, thinking of your State-side friend, couldn't legally ride a bike? Have rules changed or just the "price".

I'll be keeping up with this chronicle, you bet!
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:30 AM   #41
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I was made to understand that mostly in big cities in China,the motorbike is forbidden. How could you manage to ride at the highway?
Best pics and report.
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:34 AM   #42
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Great report. I know exactly what you speak of about time vs. money. I am in Guangzhou most of the time, if you need something and I could help or you pass back thru here and want to have some beers PM me.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:32 AM   #43
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:29 PM   #44
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:06 PM   #45
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Great report boys, keep it up . And awesome pics.
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