After much confusion as to why I asked for a knife at breakfast, I was presented with a spoon with which to spread the butter on my self-assembled toasted egg sandwich. Still, some wonderful beige carbs and protein got me through the Baotou rush hour and back out onto the G110.
Very little happened today, other than a shift from five layers to one layer as the temperature rose to around 20 whatsitmajiggies.
My right knee gave up on me and I had a slow puncture, but you don't want to hear about that. You want to hear about my triumphant return to form in the last 15km. It was triumphant. My celebrity status has moved up a notch; I now get interviewed by cars driving alongside me as passengers film me and ask questions. In the opposite to a classic Tour de France medical tow, one guy even leaned out of his window to offer me a cigarette.
By the time I'd finished dismantling my bike and locking it, all of the hotel's staff had gathered to meet me for the obligatory photos. After the previous horrified faces I now enter the hotel and immediately apologise for my appearance. This didn't put off the girls from the restaurant who wanted a photo, so I upped my warning to "I'm sorry, I'm a very dirty man". It didn't work
I checked in after the hotel had sent on their guest's details for the night to the local police, so I had a visit from a very nice police woman and her young son. After we'd established I was alone, on a bicycle, had a reservation for tomorrow night and was only taking photos of mountains I was left alone to try and locate my slow puncture. It's times like this I wish baths were more prevalent in China so I could multi-task.
APRIL 14: DONGHE to Urad Qianqi- 130KM
Start Time: 08.00
Finish Time: 19.30
Hours Cycling: 10
Hours Pushing: 1.5
Number of Dead Dogs: 3
Number of Dead Sheep: 12
Number of Dead Wolves: 1
Number of flies swallowed: 1 (happy now dad?)
PHOTO EVERY HOUR - TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT: Your desert is on its way
Photo of the day - Characteristics
This is where I update on my progress. Expect lots of fabricated statistics and dated music references.