2014 Hangzhou bicycle tour day five – Jiande to Qiandao (1000 island) Lake – 50+ km

Praise be, the supermarket has not killed off the bustling /chaotic bad roads/people going the wrong way WET MARKETS in China (of course) . Yesterday I was worried after visiting a very quiet and sad supermarket, my first in China.

This morning as I only had a short ride planned , 50km, I took the opportunity to cycle around the pretty town of Jiande, much nicer today without the rain.

First up I found a great street food vendor at a nearby bus stop that allowed me to have breakfast sitting at a communal table, mainly filled with children heading off to school. Many children had a parent hovering behind them not eating for some reason.

Breakfast, cheap and very tasty

During my exploration of the town and search for food I came across, well I just followed where most people were heading, a bustling wet market, full of the normal mad traffic, terrible roads/parking, people walking everywhere on the side of the road and bike paths, fruit galore, all different body parts of dead animals, wine and one particular stall that had a line of large dead rats and one dead squirrel.

This is me buying grapes for the days ride

I showed the picture of the dead rats (and squirrel) to some chinese friends and they assured my the packets being sold are rat poison, and the dead rats are not for sale. I guess the dead squirrel is to show how strong the poison is.

A stall selling rat poison

Before leaving town, I toured Jiande sights, riverside, and admired the great cycling infrastructure. Often full of scooters and other electric vehicles as is usual in China.

The weather had cooled a bit finally, but not for long
It is surprising how much development is happening in these small country town

It was time to leave town and work out how to go through the mountain range to get to Qiandao (1000 island) Lake. The next photo shows this range

I retraced my cycling a few kilometers out of town to where the main freeway enters long tunnels through the mountain range, obviously I was not going to try riding the freeway. There was a local road winding its way along a stream, so no climbing and it was going in the general direct I wanted to go, so worth checking out I thought.

This country road was great, flat, quiet, with lots of farming and small towns along the way, initially I was very happy.

About 10 km along this beautiful country road, feeling very pleased with my choice, I checked my online map, maps.me and realised I was off map, i.e. no roads marked and heading in the wrong direction…..oh….what to do. I might consider the freeway, I had seen a spot where I could sneak on, but it was not really a consideration.

Luckily Maggie had given me a paper map, I dug this out for the first time in the hope it might show the road I was on. It showed the road, a very minor road, the smallest type of road printed, in a beautify big 20km U shape, it would loop me back exactly where I wanted to go, I just had to keep going for another 10km and all would be good. Thank you Maggie so much!!!!!!

I continued on, admired the old building and the new, again I was amazed how much construction was going on in the middle of nowhere.

Before getting to the start of the lake/s I had to ride up the one and only big climb of the trip (but I did come back this way, so climbed twice), while I rested at the top I noticed a little old lady seemed to have spare bottles of water, it was a sort of home shop, she was happy to sell a bottle to me.

After reaching the lake, there was a least one small tunnel to ride through, nothing like the freeway. Soon I was riding through a lengthy industrial before the scenic part of the lake was reached. I stopped at a roadside food stall for lunch and then had a leisurely ride into town looking for somewhere to stay.

I had googled before reaching the main tourist town of Chun’an and could only find an expensive Holiday Inn. I found this hotel and yes it was expensive, so I thought I would try out my Mandarin, zai na li shuijiao, at where sleeping place. People thought a bit and pointed down a side road. After asking a few more locals, it worked, I found a lovely hotel for Chinese tourists, so a cheaper but still expensive.

I checked into the Chinese hotel, expensive for my tastes/budget, $50 a night but this does include breakfast. I am on the 10th floor. The manager is a lovely lady who speaks a little English, about as good as my Mandarin, the first person who does in three days. I have not seen any non Chinese person let alone a westerner for three days, I do get a lot of looks, I can see how some people get unsettled eventually.

Tomorrow will be a bicycle free day, the manager talked about a lake cruise, I will see what happens.

While I have been typing this I have been listening to loud western music coming from 7 floors below. I thought it was a disco when I arrived back from dinner but found it was the gym having a music exercise session. I can currently hear Enya, so I think it is finally winding down.

I found a Chinese hotel by asking directions in Mandarin, it worked!
My much appreciated dinner at a nearby restaurant

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