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, 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.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