I had to fit new brake pads before we left this morning so Alex was in charge of going to find breakfast. Whether he forgot his glasses or not I don’t know, but he came back with jellyfied noodles, and they were cold. On account of the disapproving face I pulled, he offered to eat my portion which I gladly agreed to before finding my own breakfast of hot pastries and egg baps!
Leaving Tianshui put China into perspective. A few locals the previous night had asked if we liked their small town. This town, admittedly small by their standards, stretched out for over twenty kilometres and contained innumerable skyscrapers as far as the eye could see (not actually very far – it is pretty smoggy here). We finally left its clutches and felt a ray of sunshine on our backs. For the first time in China I only wore one layer of clothing. It was liberating, then I reached the top of the hill and put my coat back on.
We stopped for a big plate of fried meat and a reading session halfway through the day after which Alex had a few technical problems, puncture, brakes, gears, flagpole disappeared etc… Such that by the time he caught me up it was clearly camping time. We chatted to some locals outside our tent for ten minutes: they were so insistent that we would be cold and that we would be more comfortable indoors but the optimistic next step, their house being fifty metres away, never came.
So we chowed some rather old Pamiri pasta and canned fish before getting into bed.
I finally finished reading Les Misérables: hooray!