Dominique, I'm in Tianshui, the second biggest city in Gansu province. Here's my one week in a nutshell.
One. Here's our record. We cycled 111km from Dongcha to Tianshui.
We began to climb Baiyang mountain(伯阳山), 1300 meters above sea level. The gentle slope was dropping off into a steep slant. The sun shone in front of us. Jianan used gear 1, 1, when I used gear 1, 2. When I thought I reached the top and the slope was over, the slope continued again and again. It tortured me slowly. When heavy trucks and cars passed us, I quickly had to move close to the roadside to avoid them.
When I stopped the bicycle in the middle to avoid cars, it was so difficult to climb back on the bike because the slope was too steep. My bicycle could slip back if I could not balance it on a steep slope. I set my bike at a right angle to the incline and carefully stepped on the pedal and climbed onto my saddle. For this, I had to use a lot of sides of the road every time, and I checked to see if there were any cars coming towards me. I was almost dancing with the bike on the road, and Jianan thought it was so funny and took my picture. Again, it's so good to have a friend cycling with me. With a friend beside me, all the tragedy becomes comedy.
On that day, we cycled 111km and arrived at the hotel at 11:00 p.m.
Two. I was invited to a local's house in Sancha
It was when I was passing Sancha. (甘肃省天水市麦积区三岔镇) I took a second break on one hill. It was G310 road, where it stood a 1379 kilometer stone. I was taking a rest for five minutes, and a girl who holding a jujube in the basket came up to me.
Girl: Do you want to take a rest in my house?
I: Sure, thank you!
The girl led me to her house. The girl 's name was Li Shuhui(李淑慧). Shuhui let me charge my two mobile phones and prepared a cup of tea for me. In return, I took my kenya coffee out and made a cup of coffee for her.
Shuhui's house was a two-story house, and there was a yard in the middle of the house. The yard in her house was full of huajiao. It had fresh and refreshing fragrance. I tasted one, and it had hot, sultry flavor. Later, she packed a bag of huajiao for me.
Her mom made us lunch, and I had a very good meal. The dishes - pig ear, fried eggs with green pepper, sauteed cabbage, stir fried pork - were so delicious! Shuhui was the first person to meet me on the road and invited me to her home. Shuhui, thank you so much!
Three. beautiful Maiji Moutain (麦积山石窟）
ore than when I visited Terra-cotta warriors, nor when I visited Forbidden city, I was truely awed by the the scale of China when I visited Maiji mountain in Tianshui. I was amazed by the gigantic figure of Buddha hewn out of the living rock. In China, I was used to seeing traditional architectures, and the magnificence of these carvings were really overwhelming.
YY, YY's husband, Yuanxian (元仙), me and Zhenzhen (珍珍)
My Chinese friends Yuanxian (元仙) and Zhenzhen (珍珍) were so interested in these caves, and asked many questions. And to see the special caves that are not open to the public, they splitted 400 yuan together, then again splitted 300 yuan together. They were really immersed in this cave. I couldn’t understand what the guide was saying mostly, because Buddhist terms were not familiar. But I just liked to face figures of Buddhas for a long time.
The remains of Buddhism are always with beautiful nature, and that's why I love them. The scenery of Mt. Maiji. It rained heavily that day, and the clouds began to rise in wet forests. It was so beautiful. The roof above our head became a good umbrella. I have never seen such a pure mountain scenery for a long time. It was so refreshing to look at this beautiful mountain and the forest from a high above.
My favorite grotto was 133. My friends paid 300 yuan to see this, and they also allowed me in to see this. It wasn't open to the public, and we couldn't take any pictures here. The central statue of the 133 cave was most impressive. When the guide turn on the light, it seemed that the Buddha is making a serious expression, but when the guide turned off the light, the buddha looked like he was crying.
Liangpi and guagua
Oh, when you visit Maiji mountain, I recommend that you taste guagua(呱呱) and liangpi(凉皮)! They are so delicious!
And get ready for these stairs! :)
Four. I cycle alone, and later meet Jianan on the road or at the destination.
I started cycling at 8 a.m. that day, and met Jianan at 6 p.m. at the dinner place.
I love cycling at dawn, and I prone to sunstroke when I cycle from 12 noon. On the contrary, Jianan says that he's okay with cycling at 12 ~ 2 o'clock, and he liked to get up bit late. During the four past days, we cycled seperately. I start cycling between 5 to 8 in the morning, while Jianan start cycling between 9:30 to 11:00. We meet up for lunch or dinner, or meet at the destination.