Sunday, January 15, 2006

Day 135 - Cycling to Manwan in Yunnan, China

Start: Mawen, China
End: Manwan, China (Yunnan, still)
Distance: 116 km
Time: 6'42"
Avg: 17.3 k/h
Max: 57.5 k/h
Total: 8261 km
Total riding days: 91
Riding hours: 0930 - 1810

Getting noticeably chilly on the tops of passes, but warmer in the valleys where the towns seem to be. Manwan is a small town down on my old friend the Mekong. Don't have an altimeter, so guessing here, but Manwan might be around 700 metres above sea level, while the road probably crosses passes at around 2000 m.

Route notes: c. 15 km downhill to tunnel, turnoff to Geng Ma. Then 17 km climb to pass. From here all the way north to Nanjian and perhaps beyond, there is truck-stop accommodation practially every kilometre of the way. South of here, though, there has been little accommodation outside the towns I have mentioned, and the prospects for camping don't look good either. Super-fast descent 18 km to Yunxian, decent-sized town with all mod cons. From there, the new G214 superhighway seems to disappear off into the hills - in fact I'm not sure if it has been completed yet. I found myself on the old G214, sealed but a bit rough, which descends around 50 km down the Luo Za river gorge to the Mekong (which is dammed at this point so more of a reservoir than a river).

Just before confluence of the two rivers is the friendly little town of Mang Huai, which means Busy Bosom, so you can all have a little, err, titter about that.

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