We woke up early, set on our intention to make Shanghai in three days and keen to see as much of Suzhou as possible tomorrow, described as Chinese Venice, or even better by the local saying: “In the sky is heaven; on earth, there is Suzhou”. The barman last night had helped us and a couple of German girls we met to some of his delicious cocktails and fajitas, and the impression was that drinking may have carried on later as everything was still closed as we left!
A 25 km mission along busy Nanjing streets ensued to head out, but as the sun was rising with mist poised on the rivers and autumnal leaves blowing around, the way was deceptively pleasurable. This theme continued for most of our day of riding around 150km. The sun was out bringing a bit of warmth and making the scenery a great deal more welcoming than the downpours of yesterday. We cycled along small-ish roads most of the day: past lakes, canals and strawberry farms, hardly noticing the time fly by as a hearty tailwind joined in the fun in the afternoon!
I rode by some dollar bills at one point, raced back to pick them up only to find, perhaps unsurprisingly, and to my great disappointment, that they were one hundred million dollar notes, with a Confucian priest in the middle: a telling sign of the Chinese trying to establish the RMB as a second global reserve currency. I am sure Tony Rudd would have something to say about that…
We stopped for dinner, and another, as we rejoined our trusty G312, and put up the tent in a big factory yard.