Day 1 Dealing with bears and route finding – Batang to Baiyu

On the way out of town and asked a few people the way to BaiYu just to be sure there was not a concealed road that I had missed. The ride was pretty easy with good roads. After about 23 km there was a short climb for two kms and I arrived at the first sign for BaiYu 180km, less than I though. The only problem was that I was unsure which way the sign was pointing. I asked some people that they said I must go on, the small road to the left went somewhere else, or at least I hope that’s what they said. I continued on up the hill climbing for a few more kms.

Tunnel leaving Batang

I passed through three tunnels each progressively longer. I had been asking people for the road to BaiYu but I was starting to get confused, unsure looks. After the third tunnel which was 3km long, I asked a group of people which way. They pointed in all four directions. This was not looking good, I though I had come to far and missed the turn off. I waited a bit longer and asked some more people, then to be sure waited longer and asked some more. Two votes for a left turn. I turned left onto the bumpy road and started cycling. The road was pretty desolate with no villages or people. A few motor bikes and a car passed me and I was pleased that they said that this road led to BaiYu. I arrived in a small village to shots of hello, I love you, goodbye, tashi delek. I stopped to buy a fizzy drink and everyone crowed around the bike. I said goodbye to the smiley faces and got 10m before another group of young lads asked me where I was going. I answered the usual three questions and was on my way. The road had got a little worse but it was still better than I was expecting.

 Confusing junction 2 

I reached a junction and wondered I should go up or not. I opted for the low road and a few kms later found a flat spot off the side of the road that would be home for the night. I put the rice on and while it was cooking I put the tent up. After dinner I stopped a motorbike that was passing to ask which way to BaiYu, he said it was the high road at junction I had just passed. He offered me a ride on his bike but I said I was ok, sleeping in my tent for the night. He motored off into the night and I retired to the tent. The plan was to get an early night and then an early morning. By 9pm I was tucked up in bed and trying to fall asleep. Unfortunately the thoughts of the bears crept into my head and I could not get rid of them. By 10pm I was sure there was something out there so I got out the tent armed with my camera tripod and shaking with fear to confront what was out there.

Catle on Raod 2

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