Arriving in Shigu

I arrived in Shigu today. After 3 days and 600km motorcycling I’m tired, sadel sore and in need of a nice hot shower.

The previous week had seen some real wintery weather, with snow falling on the hills around Kunming; not ideal for motorcycling. Before I set off, I had a quick look at the weather forecast and all looked good. However, just 30km into the ride the clouds came down and I spent much of the day riding through freezing fog. Even with multiple players of wool, duck feathers and a waterproof outer, I was far from comfortable. I thought about turning back but continued anyway. Thankfully the weather lifted shortly before my arrival in ChuXiong.

For the whole of the next two days I was treated to beautiful sunshine and I was able to make the most of the mountain scenery. My thoughts were filled with what was to come – a small village in northern Yunnan where nobody speaks English, and their only knowledge of the world is what they see on state television. I was getting into the rhythm of riding. The hum of the engine, wind in my face, throttle, brake, mind the pothole, beep at the driver about to pullout without looking. Like in a trance, all thoughts are gone.  Just me a and the bike and an endless road.

As I approached the familiar valley, I was brought back to reality with a sudden jolt. Despite my discomfort, I wanted to keep riding, Sichuan and the Tibetan plateau were beckoning. Keep going, never stop.