Photo of the day: Done
Day fifty nine.
67km, that was all I had left. So I had a very gentle morning. Eating the emergency pecan crunch cereal bars from my 'if things get really bad' pouch kicked off the last day of school atmosphere.
I then went to buy one of Yengisar's famous knives. I had no interest in a ceremonial knife or cutlery, I wanted a whopper - a proper multi-purpose bone-crushing, garlic-slicing, meat-scoring beauty of a cleaver. After screwing my face up at the first offerings the salesman paused and asked me if I was a chef, or worked in a kitchen. "Yes I am a chef" I lied. With the smell of dishonesty stinking out the place he brought out a handmade beast of a knife. "I'd like two please, my friend is also a chef." I'd show you a photo but they're so heavily wrapped it seems wrong to disturb them until my return to Beijing.
My friend for whom the other knife is a gift, also isn't a chef, but he is the man more responsible than any other for this trip given that he: A) convinced me to move to China four years ago; B) advised Holly on taking the job that made me return this time; and C) introduced me to the stupidity of riding idiotic distances between Chinese cities. This is the perfect gift as on one of my very first weekends in China he, an old China hand, introduced me to the concept of the Chinese cleaver as he was buying one from a market in Hunan. He made clear that you only ever need to buy one as they last forever. Only weeks later, his mother-in-law had already broken it smashing up meat bones.
It's the perfect gift.
With such a short distance to cover, today was a pootle rather than a ride as I tried to arrive just after Holly, an arrival she almost managed to completely miss on film.
Being £500 under budget and with the hotel only having the one brand of champagne I actually like*, I had decided to pre-order champagne to complete that Tour de France winner feeling.
It's important to remember that I have won, I dropped Tom and Jonny weeks ago.
*I really can be an arsehole at times but my preference for Bollinger is dangerously close to marking me out as a monster.
A Photo every hour: today's highlight - Rules of Riding: 1. START AT HOME, 2. GO WHERE THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT AND ROAD SYSTEM ALLOW, 3. FINISH IN TIME FOR JOB INTERVIEWS AND A SUIT FITTING FOR A WEDDING.
Cut my hair, get a job...try and turn this into a coherent book with all the historical colour aund genuine opinions I saved you lot from.
There'll be one final blog about Kashgar this weekend, then I'll tidy the website up and add some photo pages but basically that's it, we're done.
This is where I update on my progress. Expect lots of fabricated statistics and dated music references.