Shanxi

I don’t really have too much nice to say about this province – just so much pollution, so many coal trucks, and heaps of poor roads. The LP spoke of hardly any rain outside of July, and then only 12cm during that month. I had more than 10cm fall on my head in two days in October.

This was a big one – my first sign showing Beijing!

1000km to Beijing!

Not too sure I would want to eat fish out of that river…

Muddy river

Filthy roads, cooling towers barely visible in the haze, filthy 3-wheel put-put pumping out more crap…just another Chinese road

Chinese road pollution

1000km to go on the G108…and so I celebrate with another puncture

1000km on the G108

I would like to add that this photo was at the end of the dry day – no rain or mud, just general crap in the air.

Filthy faceThe LP also described the modern, extensive highway network crossing the province. Check out the huge traffic jams, caused by this dodgy causeway bridge, and a few trucks rolled.

Traffic jams Traffic jams Traffic jams Traffic jams Traffic jams Traffic jams Traffic jams

Pingyao was a highlight though, especially the staff at the Harmony Guesthouse, who didn’t blink at me turning up covered in mud. Instead they bought out the hose, and hosed down the bike, my luggage and me, to the hilarity of all. It’s an old town, a bit touristy now, but a lot of it is what I imagine China used to look like.

Pingyao Pingyao Pingyao

Pingyao Pingyao

Possibly something lost in translation here. Still trying to find some “formaldehyde-free beer”.

Corn drying

Yet more truck crashes. The second one was completely blocking the road, and nothing could get past…until I got some locals to help get my bike and luggage over the back of the cab, and away down the road again. Everyone else would have been blocked for hours.

Truck Crash Truck Crash

Capitalism at its finest – trucks were backed up for 20km, and little motor-trikes like this were going up and down, selling noodles, beer and pornography. Everything the bored truck driver needs. I just bought the noodles.

Motortrike noodles vendor

Finally started to break out of the trucks, and into some lovely valleys

Nice valley