The day dawned grey but surprisingly warm. We rolled out of our cabbage patch campsite onto the road, which was every bit as abominable as we had left it, but was now clogged by construction trucks. Fortunately after breakfast (some rather tasty dumplings) the road improved. I plugged in my iPod, and soothed by tales of gang violence in Southern Los Angeles c.1990, watched the kilometre markers go by.
The real adventure of the day, however, was yet to come. After a little lunch, we continued down a road on neither of our maps. Of course, not everything is on maps, but then this was a dual carriageway. Classic China. After twenty kilometres, we met a group of cyclists, pelting from Hefei to Nanjing in one day, all on their mountain bikes.
They guided us to the banks of the Yangtze, where we boarded a ferry to cross a body of water that looked more like a small sea than a river (and to think that we’re still a few hundred kilometres from the coast). So we got our half and hour of Yangtze River Cruise after all. Take that, Three Gorges.
We then cycled the rest of the way into Nanjing with them, a diverting late night dance with the traffic which eventually brought us, via a group photo in front of the station, to a hostel. Only three days of cycling left to Shanghai!