overnighting in xiangcheng was good. I love the wilds and camping up there, but the previous four days pushing it above 4500m took a lot out of me, and in xiangcheng I was able to eat. and eat and eat! out there skating I don’t actually consume much, and in the high reaches, I eat even less, which is wierd because it would seem I need moe energy to do the skate thang so high up. but no, and I don’t sleep well above 4000 meters either, I have mad dreams and wake five times a night to drink water and toss and turn. so sleep was good, and food…

off again in the morning, the road was superb, a river skate which switched three rivers, winding around through villages where locals called out encouragement and suprise. “teshi deleg!”


those imposing monolithic tibetan houses stood sentry on high corners, watching the river waters, the commons, the skater pass at their feet.

and then there was dirt road…which I hitched, 80km of piste across gorgeous terrain, I rode with some guangzhou guys. nice people, litterbugs, most, smokers the lot, whose burning embers fell into the forest with abandon…but really nice folk. out here in china, we have to accept a lot of distasteful things, or it’s just no fun at all meeting people. fortunately the forest was misty and wet, and my temporary companions did not burn the whole place down.

80km. I didn’t skate, it might seem so easy just to go on a hitchhiking journey, but no…banging around in the back of a truck, that’s only for the really unskateable part. I jumped ship at the first village, the first stretch of pavement on the yunnan side. haggled hard for dinner and a cheap sleep…

the morning was glorious, up and at ’em before sunrise, skating down into the clouds.

into the forest…up past these stoneware fangs, not knowing I was destined to look down upon them in the afternoon. funny how such high peaks seem so small, seen from above…

the pass again at 4000m+, the road sweet yunnan pavement. powering up, getting high, flying down…that’s what alpine skating is all about!

it’s a dream to be riding solo in a good road, with snacks and a water source, through beautiful autumn forest sparkling sunshine, enconterig minimal traffic

with all the time in the world to tool into zhongdian in the afternoon…

and grab an espresso…

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