Start: Shang Yun, China
End: Mengku, China (around 20 km north of Shuang Jiang)
Distance: 98 km
Avg: 13.7 k/h
Max: 49 k/h
Total: 8034 km
Total riding days: 89
Riding hours: 0845 - 1800
Route notes: a few km gentle up and down on cobbles, then a long cobbled descent, after 20 km reach river at bottom. Road then follows the right bank of the river (ascending it, so river on rhs), unpaved but cobbles give way to hard-pack which, in dry season at least, is much preferable. On 27 km there is a rod going up/left, which maps show going up and over the long way back to Shang Yun. G214 continues gently up river, fording several streams. After 55km, bridge with army checkpost on north side, and perfect new asphalt road, left to Cang Yuan and the Burmese border, straight on up river to Shuang Jiang. Smooth road goes up narrow river valley c. 20km, valley broadens out and becomes bright green and yellow, full of vegetables, in middle of which is town of Shuangjiang, gleaming white tiles. Paved road continues another 20km up river, through a narrow gorge, to Mengku's wide valley.
My 10-kuai accommodation budget gets me a suite tonight, with a sitting room and a partitioned-off bedroom. Very plush.
The day began in Shangyun with the most depraved assault on the sleeping ears it is possible to imagine. The Americans' hard-rock blasting of Norriega in Panama had nothing on this. I think it was the wake-up call for pupils of the school adjacent to my hotel. Unfortunately it is not just the pupils who are roused from their slumbers - everyone within a 50 km radius, the quick, the sick, the dying and the dead, gets the full treatment.
In Shuang Jiang, the sugarcane harvest is in full swing; the buffalo are let into the field afterwards to mop up the straw and other detritus.