24 January 2015

Ride to China ; The search for the Lost Horizon : Shangri-La - Part 4

                                                                                  Day 9


                                                               Time to do more touring of Lijiang.

Here....

The famed Black Dragon pool...

Guardians everywhere.

Nice grounds.

Tickets again  .....

Almost at the perfect angle.

Beautifully landscaped.

Nice bridge.

Nice huh.

2 days ago when we reached Lijiang i took this photo as the weather was superb.


This is the classic shot of the Black Dragon pool.

Unfortunately is was cloudy and foggy.
If not....................

                                                This !!!!!!!!!!!                               *** (internet pic) 
The pagoda here is in the black covering in my pic. Renovation .


Ah well............ c'est la vie.

Still new and wonderful for us :-)

lovely ...


The surroundings.

Icy cold water.....

as we walk around...........

...and try to get different angles .

China !!!!!


Nice huh.

Traditional tribal outfits.

Nice shot :-)



Still very early in the morning.


So the locals were out and exercising.... 

...and dancing...

so Han decided to join them...

ha ha ha ha

Further along the way...

nice colours....

Those are the famed Black Dragon ducks     ha ha ha

So rustic...

Memories !!

Different tribes .

A last look..

The classic Chinese door.

This was the pic in front of my treadmill for months on end.....

Of Yempaul's  and friends bikes in front of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. 
We found the exact location and were ready to ride there for the same pic.
Unfortunately the weather turned..... 

Thank  god we managed to get this...

...and this.  Ours !!   :-)  :-)  



A bit more background.

The condition of the roads generally  were very bumpy , some parts were around landslides (muddy & uneven) .
Some parts were kilometers of thin mud. 

All were wet , windy , mountainous , foggy and cold.
Which was not a problem . 
The main problem was in the hills of Jinggu , where the single lane
100m stretch of thick deep mud  where we almost lost it a few times on the way in , is.

This is almost like what we went through in the hills of Jinggu. Its was a bit drier ,Thank god, but longer !!
**( internet pic)


That stretch haunted us all through the subsequent ride.
So our guide mentioned that its possible to put the bikes on a truck which can go on the smooth highways ( where bikes are not allowed) and we resume our riding after Jinggu.

We agreed as we have thousands of Kms to ride before we reach home. If we can save damage to the bikes  . Great !!
So we agreed to find a truck , load the bikes ,ride in the car till Jinggu ,unload and be on our way.

Riding to the truck depot.

Here

Let the cock up's begin..

First they bring a truck thats too small.

The FJR would not have fit in there.

Look at the loading ''ramp''  ..cobbled from stuff lying around.

Then they bring a bigger truck. The problem was the ramp did not reach the truck bed so they would have to carry the bike the last 1 foot. The Versys has hand grips and is lighter. The FJR has a full fairing and is heavier. So no way...


We did all this to try to avoid damaging the bikes on the mud roads ,but the 4th world conditions of loading goods would have caused more damage.
So we said enough..we will ride instead.

Sometimes we get things right ,sometimes we don't .
Its our first time for everything here.
Its all part of the experience and makes it easier for us the next time around.
Next time ????? 

Muuhahaaaaaaa  :-)



It was not a total waste of time as Han managed to change his engine oil at one of the garages.
2 L of engine oil brought from Malaysia.

With lots of curious spectators.

Back on the road leaving Lijiang .Nice road huh.


Not for long.

When we entered Lijiang we had to ride through 12km of sandy road. Unfortunately it rained.

So now we ride through 12km of thin mud. Some place were a bit thicker and uneven.

That became a problem when lorries overtook us and tried to force to the edge.....when the edge was deeper mud. 

After quite a few very close calls ,we crossed the 12km.

The whole undercarriage was covered.


Joy.


Everything was coated. We were just so glad we didn't drop the bikes.

Swingarm etc all muddy

Views where we stopped.


Relief after that road.
 
And the other vehicles's muddy tyres coat the road even more.

Back on the road.

Cold ,muddy ,tired... and we just left Lijiang  ha ha ha

Then we climb...

...and the fog rolls in.

3.8 C ,   it went down to 2.2 later .
With no heated anything ,Malaysian gloves and boots....joy  :-)  :-)
And always remember wind chill  :-)

Riding at 2400m

after the mud ,extreme cold ,fatigue...now the worst visibility ever.


It was down to 5 meters in some places.


Technically we are on a holiday  ha ha ha.  :-)

See ...extremely bad fog.

After about hundreds of KMs ........finally we see the sun

Its already evening here.

What a glorious sight.


And what a glorious view.

No matter what we went through....

...our spirits always remained high...

Stupid highways that don't allow bikes.   :-(

We came from those mountains...

A short break here.

And we're almost back in Dali.

Changshen mountain range.
We also kept our top boxes in the car as the roads were too bumpy.


We will be headed there.

We ride as the sun sets.


Just admiring the view.

We decided to make a detour to the lake.

At the waters edge.

With the view of the Dali Tiger snow mountains.

Erhai lake, Dali

More mountains on the far bank.

Those...

Bulletproof  :-)

Both of these bikes.

We gazed on the calm waters of the lake...

And stocked up on more memories  :-)


And turning around we see the mountains.

So cool.

Once in a lifetime.

My baby  :-)

Adventurer and explorer.

Dali Tiger snow mountain made a perfect backdrop

From Malaysia to China. Success !!!      :-)

After that great experience ,its back on the bike.

Look at the mountain range.

...and the snow...

Another 40km and we reached our hotel in Dali.
Bath ,change ,dinner and crash zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz




Day 10

Our usual routine is to have a heavy breakfast ,skip lunch ,ride and sightsee ,then have a good dinner.
This morning we planned to get up early , walk 300m to the nearby restaurant and have a good breakfast. 
When we woke up the temp was just above freezing.  1.8 C
We looked at each other and said to hell with breakfast ha ha ha
We had one of our hot coffees and then got on the bike.



Where Han promptly noticed his back tyre was low on air.
Crap.!!

Since we were in Dali we decided to ride to a nearby tyre shop eventhough we both came fully prepared with all the equipment to repair a flat...............BUT !!!  ha ha ha....

Using the electric pump to top up the pressure.

Morning views.

On reaching the tyre shop the lady refused to fix the tyre. 
Scared of foreign bikes.
Ok , no problem we'll do it ourselves.

The culprit.

After removing the nail and preparing the hole ,Han tried to push the plug in.
Can't.
Even after many times he still couldn't .
The i tried ,push till felt like fainting ,still cannot !!

The lady then gave us one of her plugs to try and finally it went in.
So what happened ????? 

Finished !!
Look at the mud on the rear shock.

It was the extreme COLD . 
The plugs had frozen and hardened  thats why we  couldn't push it in. 
So remember ,in cold climates keep some in your underwear  ha ha ha .  :-P

What ever problems on the road ,if it can be fixed then its still a good day.

.....and the tyre was fine till we reached home.


Leaving Dali.


This will be beautiful with the sun out.

Climbing.

See the fog...

... and the damn wet roads.

Nice trees though.


The higher we got...

...the better the views.



Like so...

After a couple of hours we took a break. 

Next to these fields.


Finally the sun came out.

We came from those mountains.

Temp about 8C

Poor bikes...

Suddenly the urge was overpowering....

toooooooo  sing  !!??

ha ha ha ha  ...sori ye boss  :-p

Still laughing now...

Ok , ok , serious mode.....Both our bikes need some TLC soon.

Memories of China.

Foggy mountains we rode through.

A beekeeper .

Back on the bike.

Passing small towns...

... and heavy machinary...

Rustic villages.


Passing a small town.

What a nice picture.
Priceless !!


Surrounded by mountains.

Imagine riding here.....

Now its always south... 

After an hour plus....

Time for a break...

With a view.

Of the famous rice terraces.

Stylo  :-)

...and Milo  ha ha ha  .....(the whole lower half is brown like milo)

Nice huh.


FJR in the distance.

Riding through the mountains...

Another small town...

Cameras everywhere.


The nice roads after the town.


long tunnels again.

Look at that view..........


Awesome riding...

Unfortunately , that bad muddy road is still infront.

Ah well.....

We will enjoy the moment...

...and the views.


So cool huh.


Classic China.


Ever onwards.


Back on the bridge.

A short break in the same place

Nice huh.

Mountains and lake.

Awesome...


Ride of a lifetime indeed.

ADV rider  :-)

Water buffalo ... ha ha ha

A short break to take some pics...

Of this  :-)


...and this !!!!!!

Gorgeous !!

Perfect riding...for now

A short break here....the whole family ran out to see the bikes.

This guy was so excited and hospitable...

They gave us hot tea and a boiled egg to eat...

...and refused any payment.

Chinese water pipe.

We held the freshly boiled egg and enjoyed the warmth. The sun is out but still very cold.

Giving sweets to the kids.

:-)  :-)

We told our new friend to take a pic on his handphone with our bikes as a rememberance.

Back on the road...

Still good roads.


But after this town...

The area here had a lot of landslides.


And road works.

A short stop here.

Look at that.


Can't read though.

Still very cold.

But the exploration doesn't stop.

A last look.

On the bike.

Beautiful huh.

Evening already.

At night we still rode. 
Unfortunately we came to the bad stretch in the pitch darkness. I went first and Han waited to see if i was ok.While he waited our car came along and took a side road that we didn't know was there. (remember we followed the lorries the first time around) ......
 WTF !!!
I was already in the mud and couldn't turn back. So , in the darkness i had to ride through and the bike lost traction so many times. Some how i managed to get through without dropping the bike. 
Han took the other side road and we stopped for a while.

A short break after that hell road.
see the surroundings. Jungle ,and complete darkness.

These 2 pics are an example of what the road was like. Only longer . This time it was this wet.
internet pic 1 **

I honestly don't know how i didn't drop the bike. No skill was involved. 
Pure dumb luck !!!

internet pic 2 **

After a few more hours riding at night we reached Jinggu .Dinner then crash zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Long day.



Day 11


From now on we're not worried about the roads...

Look at the mud falling off my undercarriage.
I brought a bit of China back  :-)

We left early without breakfast.

I oso donno where this pics keep coming from   :-)

Ready to roll...

Every morning is foggy..

Still we ride.

Imagine...we're looking forward to the smooth roads of Laos  ha ha ha...seriously.

Not as bad as yesterday..


Nice huh.

Such a nice pic.


Awesome  !!

This is CHINA !!!

This oso  :-(


B roads still

A short break when there was some sun..

Only a small patch of sunlight...

Back on the bike...

See.....

We stopped in Ning'er for brunch.

Holding the glass on the bottom left at its still extremely cold.



Curious locals.

Riding through the city.


...and out.


Finally blue skies.

And nice views.


Nice huh.


A short off road.

Another break after filling up.

Today we are headed to the border.


Riding through the forest here.

Passing small villages.


And enjoying the views. 

Another break after an hour.

Locals...

On the bike.


The mascot of Yunnan.

164km more.

Finally...its smooth road from here on in.

Very reckless Chinese drivers everywhere.


lovely riding though.


Getting to evening.

Massive bridges...


on ,and on ,and on

We reach the border town of Mohan around 7pm.  An early dinner and crash. 
Tomorrow we leave China.



Day 12

Ready to rock.

Foggy .

1km more and our Chinese adventure is over.


The crowd waiting for the door to open.

Once the door opened these morons were pushing and shoving each other like mad. If some one does that to you the way they were doing you'd punch them. Seriously.

We both be like...WTF man ????

Done...Foggy border post.

After that gate we're through.

After saying goodbye to our guide Mr.Wang who was very good and efficient we left the country that gave us the greatest ride ever.
Thank you China...we'll not forget you.

No mans land.

The Laotion border post.

Again we were met by our contact....

Done in 10 mins.

Riding to the customs building...

Here. Our guy followed and we were finished very fast.

Fist in the air.
We made it.

Now for the long way down...

...to our home in Malaysia.

Many locals were out in their traditional costumes.

Riding in Laos.


Weather much better.

Around 13C

Nice and warm...seriously...

Thousands of corners.

And great views.

Passing villages.

A short break here.

No where else to stop...

ha ha ha ha

On the bike.

more corners.


Nice huh.


As we rode , we enjoyed the views.

Till suddenly we felt like running to the toilet ...... ha ha ha

False alarm  :-)

Nice huh.

An hour later another break. Windy roads are more tiring than freeways.

Laos rider.

Multipurpose roads  :-)

We're half way through the north of the country.


Corners and corners...

Villages and villages...


And amazing views everywhere.


Corners :-)

In the evening we finally reach...

The border to Thailand...

Again our contact met us here.

Som .

Paperwork...

Done very fast....

Crossing the Mekong  :-)

A river of legend.


Sights.

Welcome to Thailand !!


Thank you Som .

The last border...into Thailand.

Again our Thai agent met us and within minutes we were out .

We decided to ride as far as possible.

Late evening already...

About an hour later we decided to call it quits...


We crossed from China into Laos and now riding in Thailand.
We found a hotel in Chiang Rai

And had a wonderful meal.....finally.
So good to be back in Thailand.  :-)

Its all smooth riding home after this .