The last part of long way(almost 1/3 of whole distance) in China. There are not so many things to see on the way. I just cycled and cycled, toward the opposite end of this huge continent.
The road was always hilly and not easier than I expected. And the weather had been always like cloudy(I mean the sky was always whitish or grayish. No blue sky and shining sun even if it was called “sunny”. My friend told me it’s caused by air pollution. Actually China is the most polluted country I’ve ever been to) since I arrived at Xi’an(for 3 weeks). It really depressed me.
I mostly found fun to meet and talk with people. They worked in a fuel station. When I passed by to get water, they let me join dinner and camp.
In a small city, I went to a small bike shop to fix many tubes with holes. He repaired for free and took me to other big shops. I was really happy when he introduced me as a friend of him to other people. We are still keeping in touch.
The difference of age doesn’t matter to be friends. We talked a lot on a paper and finally he asked me, “Will you be my friend?” Why not.
I mostly took a rest in front of shops after buying something. People talked to me and often gave me another drink, food or seat. This is how I learned Chinese. Surprisingly(actually it always surprises Westerners rather than me or Chinese people), all the people became much more friendly and kind when I told “I’m Japanese”. Despite bad history between China and Japan.
Getting close to the East coast, the temperature rose up, nearly 40 on the road. I never ever welcomed blue sky and shining sun. It was almost impossible to ride from 1 to 3 o’clock, so I just slept or sitting in shadow. Nevertheless, I sometimes got heat stroke, feeling nausea, numbness on hands and feet, and finally cold. I needed to drink 10L of water at most. Cars can go more with 10L of gasoline.
The last camping in China. I found it was too hot to sleep in a tent , couldn’t sleep until 5 in the morning and woke up at hotness around 8. Then I prefer paying 30RMB for nice sleep. But fireflies are beautiful.
It was better to ride on small local roads, with the shade of trees and no busy traffic.
Then I saw many “goast towns”. There were many buildings, so should be many people but only a few on streets. Only supermarkets were open but restaurants were closed. Full of rubbish and all the structures were not maintained well. People were’nt working. They didn’t react even when I entered their shops. Women were just chatting or seeing their children playing outside and men were playing game all the time. No people were kind there.
I found a fact. There were no trucks passing because all of them took the main route. In the towns along the main route, the most common job is car service shop or restaurant(normally with cheap accommodation, sometimes with prostitutes) for drivers. Only they can bring money to them from outside of towns. I tought heavy traffic is just annoying for people but actually very important.
Crossing Yangtze River(長江) to Nanjing(南京).
Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall(侵華日軍南京大屠殺遇難同胞紀念館). There are still many arguments, however, it’s difinitely worth to visiting, especially for Japanese. At least we can give up thinking like “we were victims of the war”. I(and maybe most Japanese) didn’t know that the first flying corps to invade Shanghai – Nanjing was sent from Nagasaki, just 8 years before the atomic bomb was dropped on it.
Now I really appreciate Chinese people’s broad mind, as much as their country.
Then I finally arrived at Shanghai(上海), on 7/31, 366th day of my riding(this year is “leap year”). Taking a boat to my friend’s house.
Cheers with Yang, we met in Bruxelles when I just started trip(check the previous post) and met again in the opposite side of the continent. It was long long way to reach you!
I cycled to the seaside on the next day, 1 year anniversary of riding, to make sure that “the ocean ends the continent”, and it was true. There must be Japan just beyond the horizon, nothing except the sea in between. But I can’t still believe in it.
I’m going home soon. Bye bye Eurasia, all the people I’ve met, all the places I’ve passed and all the way I’ve rode on. Thank you very much for taking me here!
Xi’an – Shanghai
14261– 15857 / 1596km 15000km!
The next way : Shanghai – Nagasaki(長崎)