The Three Gorges of the Yangzi, Day 14: Cycling 60 km along the River Han to Xuanyang, then transfer by car for the rest of the way to Ankang.
Apart from cycling some pretty 60 km along the Han River from Shuhe to Xuanyang, today’s highlight surely was the bike washing in the morning.
We had started the day with a little sightseeing in the Shuhe old town and had bumped into the opening ceremony of a documentary film which was going to be shot in the newly renovated guild hall of Shuhe. A pretty location for a film, indeed!
Yesterday’s muddy construction sites had left our bicycles covered with a thick layer of dirt, so our first mission of the day was clear: Find a place to wash the dirt off our bikes! Xiao Yang, our experienced driver, didn’t need much time to find out just the right spot: Just outside of Shuhe, he located a small car washing service and persuaded the owner to give our bikes a wash. And so it came: equipped with a high pressure water gun, the lady running the place gave each of our bikes a good cleaning. We sat and watched the little spectacle, musing over the detail that the lady didn’t bother changing into her working clothes: She wore a mini skirt and high heels during the whole procedure, gracefully avoiding any dirty spot on her clothing while still doing an excellent job at removing all the mud from our bikes!
We couldn’t cover the whole distance to Ankang by bicycle because another construction site made it impossible to continue cycling on the road Xuanyang and Ankang. Thus we decided to hop on Xiao Yang’s support truck and drive the rest of the way via the highway.
After dinner we went for a foot massage and pedicure session: It is very common in China to use these services – prices are more than reasonable and the service is always good. Tomorrow we’ll have our deserved day of rest in this city. Ankang means “peaceful and healthy”, just the right combination for a day of relaxation and regeneration!