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Qinghai and Gansu provinces  -  Days 26 to 30

Stayed in Xining for a day rest, some good food, mosk visit and taking care of my bike. It is a big Huis city, I even had the feeling this is the capital city of this important chines ethnic group. Following was some of the toughest days of the trip so far: crossing the Qi Lian Shan mountain range with a few passes at 3,780 meters altitude. The way down towards Zhang Ye today was just pur pleasure, straight lines at average 25 to 32 km/h.

 

The great mosk of Xining is quite old for some parts of it. This building is made of wood and is said to be over 800 years old.

 

Spring time within the premises of the mosk's gardens.

 

This old men invited me on his bench, I think I understood he was asking me why Sarkozy is hiting hard on Lybia, a muslim country...

 

And his mates!

 

On the way up north, towards the Qi Lian Shan mountain range.

 

At night I stopped in a local "luguan" and enjoyed an excellent meal with hot water.

 

This kind of village lives on the raod business and basic farming.

 

Up in those mountains the G227 national road goes. When I took this shot I did not know they would make my hardest ride the next day.

 

The most exausting ascent I had so far, slowly making my way up to the pass....here at 3684 meters.

 

Proud to be a cyclist!

 

 

Once in the valley I experienced some of the worse a cyclist can have: strong front wind and a straight road...that kills your motivation since it breaks your speed from 18 km/h down to 5 to 6 km/h.

 

Later on that day Mr Ma picked me up from the road side and invited me to his camp to enjoy shelter and diner. Those workers are setting up the infrastructure of the base camp that will later run a mine. I could not get the exact type of ores that will be exploited.

 

Night falls and I am getting ready to sleep in the tent that stands in the middle. Altitude is 3450 meters.

 

One of the tent offers TV connection and a coal heater, perfect conditions to enjoy a hot tea and a smoke.

 

They all are captivated by a movie starring ugly japanese soliders fighting heroic maoists and nationalists. All of them are muslim Huis peoples.

 

Where I slept by -12 degrees at night, here in the early morning.

 

This is Mr Gao, one of the two crane drivers, he operates the big green one. He was in my eyes the most educated and his mandarin was perfect since he could read and write "han zi".

 

I forgot his name but he was very generous with his cigarettes...I had to smoke many of them. He is the driver of the big yellow one.

 

The camp in the early morning.

 

Helping eachother, gazoline fill up.

 

 

The great group of workers from the Qi Lian Shan range: Mr Ma is the fourth from the right, I am standing next to Mr Gao, the green crane driver. Mr Lee is the cook and is the shortest of all, standing fifth from the left.

 

The way up...

 

I make my way towards the last pass, this one standing at 3767 meters "only"!

 

Most of the passes come with their tibetan prayer flags.

 

The wild life of the high-lands, here a group of yaks.

 

Yak's traffic jam.

 

Leaving the Qi Lian Shan, the frozen river makes its way down as well.

 

Once in the valley I can just gaze at the range, far away from it, and enjoy a flat road.

 

On the way to Zhang Ye...

 

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