HANGZHOU to HONG KONG

So this is what cycling hills feels like? It had been that long, we had almost forgotten. But by the time we reached Hong Kong, we were taking them on like mountain goats. It was hard work in the heat – up, down, up, down – after 120 kms, we stop, knowing tomorrow, we are back to do it all again.

Hard riding has its rewards though. The resort town of Wuyishan, the Song Xi River, and the rural villages in between, proved that “picture perfect” China can still be found amongst the factories!

It ended abruptly though, with the ride into Shenzhen. The 100 kms into this shopping megacity on the border with Hong Kong, was quite possibly the worst day we’ve had on the bikes yet. Endless roadworks, choking fumes and driving so bad, you wouldn’t have thought possible. The only positive, is that we are still here to tell the story.

Now, what expedition would be complete without a medical emergency? It sounds worse than it was, but a burst cyst on my head, meant our first stop in Hong Kong was the hospital. Here’s a luck, our doctor was trained in Sydney!

In town, we caught up with my old work friends – Andrew and Brian, and their families. It was great seeing them both, and learning a little about what “Hongkers” is really like! To be honest, while it feels like you are constantly in a shopping mall, it was a lot more liveable than we had expected. This is no secret though, at times it seems there are more westerners here than Chinese!!

With our Vietnam and Thai visas in hand, we were ready to go. Not wanting to relive the Shenzhen experience, we opted for the ferry to Macau, as way to get back into mainland China. Macau is a blinking neon mecca for the Chinese who can’t gamble at home. While we left the Grand Lisboa with nothing more than highrolling memories, at one point we were actually up $8 HK dollars (about Aussie $1!).

Now back in China, we are heading for the karst mountains around Guilin, after which we will head south for Vietnam. It is amazing how fast this adventure is going. While we still have around 15,000 kms to go, it somehow feels like we are getting close to the end… wishful thinking, or maybe just homesick?

Thanks for all the comments and support.

Safe travels!

Jules & Jess

Up, down, up, down

Up, down, up, down

Pimp my ride, anyone, please?!

Pimp my ride, anyone, please?!

It's not just bus drivers you have to watch out for!

It's not just bus drivers you have to watch out for!

Time for a cool drink.  A typical village stop during the day.

Time for a cool drink. A typical village stop during the day.

Time to stop.  A typical dot on the map size town.

Time to stop for the night. A typical "dot on the map" town.

I could always be a bike mechanic when I get home?

I could always be a bike mechanic when I get home?

Picture perfect Wuyishan

Picture perfect Wuyishan

Song Xi River

Song Xi River

Rural China at its best

Rural China at its best

Rice right up to the village edge!

Rice right up to the village edge!

Can you believe it, two panda's right by the highway!!

Can you believe it, two panda's right by the highway!!

Imagine 100kms of this!  The road to Shenzhen.

Imagine 100kms of this! The road to Shenzhen.

Patched up and raring to go! Hong Kong.

Patched up and raring to go! Hong Kong.

Two beautiful views

Two beautiful views

We were staying in the heart of Kowloon

We stayed right in the heart of Kowloon

That famous skyline by night

Hong Kong's famous skyline by night

Hong Kong was much more liveable than expected.

Much more liveable than we had expected.

The highroller you are not!

A highroller you are not!

The bluest sky in China yet. Inside The Venetian, Macau.

The bluest sky in China yet. Inside The Venetian, Macau.

The Tour de China continues...

The Tour de China continues...