The Road to Everest

Great Tour of China Day 6
May 5, 2006,

May Day sees the first day of the Chinese Spring holiday. As a result, the roads were busier than normal as we set out early for this long day’s drive to Guangyuan.

The drive got longer when we encountered a May Day protest in a small village about 50km out of Xi’an. However, the local authorities were more than helpful in guiding us around the blockades and in persuading some of the protestors in allowing our event through.

We then rose into the surrounding hill country and through a long series of verdant, scenic valleys, whose windy roads provided us with many a beautiful view. The drive also included Arnold Maier, Balz Hertzi and August-Ludwig Braun taking their Toyota for a bath in the valley river, on whose banks they and several others enjoyed hot chocolate thanks to the camping stove of Car 3.

Just before lunch, traffic was once again held up, but this time for a different reason. About 20km from Hanzhong, we came to a busy village enjoying a seasonal market festival, and at the end of which a daredevil motorcyclist was driving his motorbike through rings of fire. Needless to say, the stuntman caused many a passer-by to stop and watch for a few minutes.

Hereafter, however, we enjoyed a smoother ride through sumptuous farmland and scenic countryside and into Guangyuan, where we enjoyed a spicy Szechuan dinner. H-h-h-hot!

Coffee stop down by river

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Day 30: Thursday 25 May 2006
Zhaoqing – Splendid China, Shenzhen

On this our final day of the Great Tour of China 2006, we made a short journey mainly on expressway from Zhaoqing to the Splendid China Cultural Park in Shenzhen for the ceremonial finish.

May 26, 2006
Day 29: Wednesday 24 May 2006
Guilin - Zhaoqing

We left Gulin on smooth fast roads with wonderful views of the ‘eggbox’ type hills. These are hills of limestone which have eroded into shape over centuries covered in native vegetation and resembling very large teeth.

May 25, 2006
Day 28: Tuesday 23 May 2006
Kaili - Guilin

The agenda today was another long driving day to Guilin along a mixture of road surfaces: smooth main roads, bumpy secondary roads and some roads still under construction.

May 24, 2006
Day 27: Monday 22 May 2006
Huangguoshu Falls - Kaili

Before negotiating another day on the road, everyone spent a couple of hours today visiting China’s most scenic falls at Huangguoshu. Set against lush, local vegetation, the falls make up in beauty for what they lack in size.

May 23, 2006
Day 26: Sunday 21 May 2006
Kunming – Huangguoshu Falls

This morning we took the northern road from Kunming on a mix of main highway, dual carriageway and back roads. The first town we passed through was Quiyang en route to Honggu, a large town with coal mining and steel production as it’s main industries.

May 23, 2006