Journey on the Island

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Leaving Sanya was a mix of emotions. I felt great sense of pride and happiness for beginning my ride, but I also had to leave behind my old life. There are certain comforts and aspects we take for granted in our daily lives. I know it may sound cliche, but it was bittersweet. That first step out my door. The first rotation of the pedals. The first realization, it is here.

The longest journey starts with a single step. ~ Lao Tse

After a nice send off, I was left to my own devices. I started riding hard through the morning traffic, as if off to a marathon. The adrenaline of the initial start fuelled me through the first section of the day. Then the reality of the situation began to set in. The weight of the bike, the rising mountains and inescapable heat. Temperatures scorching at a top 47 degrees in mid-afternoon and a cooler low of 25 at night in the mountains. I was feeling it.

The first days from the road. A lot can be said. I have made it through the centre of the island of Hainan. From sunny Sanya to Haikou. Through mountains, little towns, beautiful green places, smiling faces and curious eyes. Tough climbs that turn into twenty minute declines. Each day it rains. The heat of the day building up dumps upon the island for a cooling shower around 5pm. You can see it coming for miles. This means it is time to look for a place to stay for the night. On the last day I cycled over 100 kilometres through torn up gravel road and construction. A strong start to say the least.

Though Sanya is known for it’s tourism, most of the island sees few foreigners. This makes for lots of double takes and curiosity when having a break. I had explored a large portion of the island throughout my time in Sanya; however, there was still a great deal to see. This was the exciting part. After a the end of the second day it was all new territory. This is where the trip really began. From that point on I didn’t know what was coming next. What would I see? Where would I sleep that night? How do I get there? All questions, that needed figuring out as I moved into my repeating future. With patience and time, all things are answered. Keep making decisions, never giving up is the key.

I’ve gotten to know my bike. I’m finding my groove. Minor fixes, general maintenance and self-awareness. The road is open and I am in control. Hainan has been a good place to start. With a hard few days through the mountains, it allowed me to build up the some strength and stamina to tackle those long days. Each day I’m tired, but I sleep well and wake with a sense of purpose. There is always something to do, I am never bored.

As I leave you for the next leg of the journey via Ferry to mainland China, I would just like to express my thanks. Everyone behind me makes this trip all the more possible. Thank you for your generous donations to my ‘Charity’  with Free the Children, your little boosts of confidence and all of the positivity you contribute to my ride. It has been an amazing few days. I know as I move to the start of China’s Guangxi Province, this is only the beginning. There is a big and diverse country ahead, full of wonderful surprises and challenging days. Nice to have you with me!

About markquattrocchi

My name is Mark Quattrocchi. This site is dedicated to giving people a look into the wonders of world travel. Through my experiences, thoughts and ambitions about adventure, I strive to give motivation to people to follow their dreams.

Posted on July 11, 2014, in Adventure, Around the World, Charity, China, Cycling, Inspiration, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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