An Encounter with the Police


2009/02/16: Small Place 75 km 
The first day was through a more built up area and not memorable, but we ended the day at a tiny rural guest house run by a friendly minority family who cooked an excellent supper. Facilities were simple: A pocket-sized room with two clean beds, cement outhouse across the road, no shower but a basin of hot water from the kettle.

2009/02/17: Small Place 88 km
The second day involved a 1,500 m climb in about 32 km through a dramatic arid valley. The terrain reminded us of the BC Interior. No immediate downhill payback, as we have simply made a step up onto the edge of the Tibetan plateau, and we now count ourselves as officially out of the malaria zone. We ended up hotel-hunting in the dark.

2009/02/18: Chuxiong  70km
2009/02/19-20: In Chuxiong

Making a late start the following morning, we were shortly stopped by two uniformed policeman who stepped out of their vehicle and waved us over at the top of a hill. They were professional and friendly, and professed concern for our safety on narrow roads. Our travel plans and where we had recently stayed were discussed. Our passports were examined. Chris, who compensates for his linguistic shortcomings by watching body language closely, said he knew that all was well when he saw their initial reaction to the Canadian passports. They did photograph the picture pages with a SLR digital camera, however, and they photographed us. With their permission, we in turn photographed them. The lead policeman gave me his card and told me to call him if we needed help. While it seems strange to a Canadian that they have the right to stop us and query our movements, the encounter can only be described as pleasant. The paybacks for my minimal Chinese language skills have been huge – and not just here. I think the grey hair was also an asset in this situation!


We arrived in ChuXiong, 126 km west of Kunming, and decided we needed a bit of pampering, so we booked into a high end hotel that has internet in the rooms. We needed break from the smoke-filled wang ba, and have enjoyed Skyping with our offspring. Today we walked to a Li version of Stonehenge, which demonstrates their early and precise knowledge of astronomy. Tomorrow we’ll do a few bike adjustments, and continue to do justice to the breakfast buffet.


7 responses to “An Encounter with the Police

  1. I hope that you remember me. We were corresponding by email last fall after I was incredibly inspired by reading your cycling pages. I am following your progress from Bangkok with delight… and becoming more and more inspired by your tales. We want to begin our own bicycle tour adventure next summer if possible.Are you enjoying your tiny Asus? I am interested in how you are finding it.

  2. Hi Michele,Yes, I remember you! You were our first “fan mail” from the web site, and we were very flattered!Yes, the ASUS is great. Even if you cannot get internet or it, you can use it to compose blog posts and longer emails in you own space, then carry just a memory stick to the internet cafe. Cheers, Margo

  3. <>More detailed comments on the ASUS eee.<>We use it in two modes:<>With network connection<> a)Blog Posts b)Email c)Skype to Computer d)Skype to landline e)Check Bank Account etc. f)Research Route Ahead g)World and Canada News h)Flickr Upload<>Without network connection<> a)Trip notes, finances, and mileage b)Preparing blog posts c)Preparing longer emails d)Charging AA and AAA batteries via USB port e)Reference PDF’s (backed up on a secure web page) <>i)Guidebooks ii)Bike Repair iii)Medical iv)Document copies v)Contacts<> f)Camera pictures downloading, viewing, and editing g)Music h)Language Learning (audio) i)GPS download, viewing profiles, and studying Garmin MapOur biggest concern is our heavy dependence on this little device!

  4. Thanks for the info on how you use your Asus eee. I can see how it would be easy to become dependent on the little guy! It runs on linux, right? I am a linux user myself, so I’m curious if it’s a “bare-bones” install that you’re running.I’m loving the photos that you are posting. I will have to live vicariously through you for the moment, but soon I hope to be cycling through such lovely vistas myself.

  5. Hi Michele,We use the LINUX as installed on the Eee. We are less vunerable to a virus attack, than the windows option, which is important when on the road! For the GPS I had to load “wine” so I could run the Garmin windows program.

  6. Hi, I don’t know if this affects your route planning but the BBC says that Tibet will be closed to foreigners in March.

  7. Pingback: Self-Censorship Removed « candmwanderings

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