In March 2012, I left my home in Gloucestershire, UK, to cycle around the world. I have no idea how long this will take ...

Cycling in ‘China’

8 Nov 2013

Cycling the Middle Kingdom: the best and worst of China (Part 2)

Posted by Will. 8 Comments

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Yesterday, I described and explained the ‘best’ part of cycling in China in a buoyant post full of enthusiasm and sparkling adjectives. Now it’s time to sum up the ‘worst’. The current entry is as downcast as the previous one was optimistic, the aim being to capture the simultaneous feelings of joy and loathing that followed me through China. If…

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7 Nov 2013

Cycling the Middle Kingdom: the best and worst of China (Part 1)

Posted by Will. 5 Comments

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I am now in Vietnam and have been for over a week. There’s far too much to tell already: leg-sapping weather, suicidal motorbikes, a stray-dog incident, rice-liquor nights with the locals and food as yet unsurpassed. However before I start the diary for South East Asia I thought I’d have a look back at the best and worst of China….

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2 Nov 2013

Mad dash out of China

Posted by Will. 9 Comments

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I cycled out of Chengdu quite unwilling to go, fed up of moving on and knowing that the steep slopes of south-west China waited for my weary legs. My first point of call: Xichang, a small city with a visa extension office where I hoped my race to the border would end with a fresh new Chinese sticker for 30…

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13 Oct 2013

Trucks, police and toll-booths: Hitch-hiking 1000 miles in China

Posted by Will. 6 Comments

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I’ve arrived for the second time in Chengdu, this time my passport safely in pocket, a fresh visa extension guaranteeing two weeks further immunity from the authorities. I hitch-hiked to Xi’an and back again covering about 1000 miles in 24 hours, travelling much quicker than I would have managed by train or bus. I picked up six rides on the…

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8 Oct 2013

Passport Problems

Posted by Will. 10 Comments

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Unfortunately, travel isn’t all sandy beaches, spontaneous penthouse invitations, on-the-road romances and dancing ’til dawn. I must also satisfy the officials. That means long office visits, form-filling, arbitrary rules and possibly the tearing apart of plans so certain only days previously. For me, a long-standing problem has come to a head. I sit, biting my nails in a hostel in…

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29 Sep 2013

Two weeks in Beijing and the Great Wall of China

Posted by Will. 4 Comments

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I spent most of my two weeks relaxing in Beijing’s beautiful parks where for a tiny entrance fee I could lie by lakes, wander among ancient pagodas and peek into palaces. Peddle boats drift gently across the water while children, like everywhere, run howling across fenced-off grass. Joggers run in groups, chatting away in single syllables. Vendors sell fresh orange,…

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27 Sep 2013

Entering Beijing: 18 months on the road

Posted by Will. 10 Comments

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As the clock ticked over 18 months on the road, I sped down out of the mountains with a light drizzle itching my legs. I passed several brown tourist signs pointing the way to the Ming Tombs, apparently a big deal, but I didn’t feel like stopping. My brakes hardly work anymore anyway. Beijing lay on the horizon and there…

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