Chengde, 24/9/2005 at 17:00
Today we’ve been biking around Chengde looking at the temples, many of them being buddhist temples. Sometimes it has felt more like being in Tibet than in China. Other than that the city of Chengde is ugly and not very cozy. At the back of out hotel we just spotted yet another extremely poor neighbourhood. We went in that direction to eat yesterday and people are really friendly despite living on a financial minimum. We were invited (read: forced) to drink Yun Hu beer with the owner, and Jolanda discovered just about the only beer in the world that she actually likes… Besides that we ended up spending about 5Y (50 Euro Cents) for the whole dinner!
This morning we met a Dutch couple in the restaurant for breakfast. They had been following the same route as we, but were forced to shorten their holiday and were going back to Beijing today. We met them by accident and they are the first cycling tourists that we’ve seen here. They were probably twice our age and pensioned. We have a lot of respect for people at that age going on cycling holidays.
Later on we went out and the weather was beautiful – around 24 degrees and only a few clouds all day.
Now we look forward to getting into slightly more quiet countryside with less traffic on the roads as well. This should also mean that we will have less possibilities to get online, so it’ll probably be a few days until our next post.