The Rising Light
When the light rises and touches the morning horizon I begin my ride. The cooler morning air blowing on me in the first moments of the day. The rotation of the pedals and bearings caught. Scratching metal of shops opening up are the sounds. The bubbling broth of morning noodles is the smell. A colourful cart of fruit struggling to market, is the sight. Mountains of limestone loom like powerful giants in the distance welcoming me into the good morning. China coming alive in the early daylight hours is an orchestra of sights and sounds. Being there while it happens is all I need to find the power to ride for another day.
After over 850 kilometres and 10 days of riding I have reached Guilin from Sanya. The ride here has been in a word, beautiful. Everything I could have hoped for so far on the trip. The people have been overly generous and curious about my ride. Equipped with my ‘Magic Letter’ in Chinese, I am able to share my adventure with the people I meet. Each day is completely different. If I think of where I started my day and where I end up at the end, it is sometimes hard to believe it is the same one. A free lunch here, an invite for tea there, fresh fruit and water breaks with powerful vistas. I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m in no rush. The intense heat scorches me, with temperatures remaining in the mid-forties for most of the day. The bumps in the road. The honk of the passing horn. I’m along for all of it.
I have a lot of respect for the hardworking nature of the rural Chinese. The work they do is thankless and full of backbreaking effort. It is a difficult life and for the most part, a simple one. Guangxi, though close to Hainan, brings with it a completely different culture. I enjoy the relaxing afternoon tea, the morning rice porridge with a wide array of condiments and having mountains on both sides of the road all day. The people have been nothing but kind to me. Acts of Kindness 4, Acts of Cruelty 0. I expect it to continue that way. I am fortunate. I am happy.
“I shall never sell the land! Bit by bit, I will dig up the fields and feed the earth itself to the children and when they die I will bury them in the land, and I and my wife and my old father, even he, we will die on the land that has given us birth.” ~ Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth.
Years ago I read her book about a Chinese man named Wang Lung and his connection to land. I now understand it a little better. I see the people put their hard sweat into the fields and drag their tools through the earth. They have a connection. A connection I will never fully understand. They are one.
The Province of Guangxi. Beihai to Guilin. It has been challenging and exciting. I’m stronger and more focused. Now it is time for a few days off to explore the beautiful Li River and the karst mountain formations of Yangshuo, as my wonderful girlfriend visits for a few days. Back on the road next week as I tackle the mountain roads of Guizhou on my way to Chongqing.
Thank you to everyone once again for supporting my charity with ‘Free the Children’ and ride over the last few weeks. Only $3000 more to reach our goal of $10,000, and the road to a new schoolhouse. Together we can make a difference. If you would like to donate, please click ‘HERE’.
Keep following along and showing your support. Until next time!
Posted on July 18, 2014, in Adventure, Around the World, Charity, China, Cycling, Motivation, Travel and tagged Around the World, Awesome, Beautiful, Bicycle, China, Cycling, Farming, Guangxi, Hot, motivation, Mountains, Riding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.