Saturday, February 18, 2006

Day 169 - Cycling the Batang - Baiyu road (I)

Start: Batang, Sichuan, China
End: Tent, approx 10 km north of Moxi village, between Batang and Baiyu, Sichuan, China
Distance: 65 km
Time: 6'34"
Avg: 9.9 k/h
Max: 32 k/h }
Total: 9519 km
Total riding days: 109
Riding hours: 1015 - 1850

Bright blue sky in the morning persuaded me to do the decent thing: pack and go.

Mixed opinions in town as to whether there is a road from Batang, and as to whether, if there is, it is passable on a bicycle.

Balance of opinion seems to be that there is a track, but for horses only, not wheels.

26 km fairly easy on the road-working G318. Rough dirt road for now, but in a year or two it's gonna be a superhighway, tunnels and bridges and all kinds of funky stuff.

At 26 km the road forks. Straight on (right) is the new highway route that cuts over the mountain; left is the old G318 that follows the bend of the valley, and this is also the way to Baiyu.

Beautiful, trafficless 20km up the river-gorge from the fork, then the road forks again and switch-climbs out of valley. Steep for about 2 km, then flattens to join a new valley.

I camp more or less on the snowline, about 10km after a forestry camp (where it would probably be possible to overnight). Water all the way, the track follows a stream.

This track is not on the map, but people on the way seem to agree that Baiyu is this way - even if they are sceptical that I will get through on a bike.

Tunnel on the old G318 in the gorge.

Climbing out of the river valley; Tibetan villages below.

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