Today’s Distance / 今日の走行距離：124.64km
Time on bike / 走行時間：6h 57m
Average speed / 平均速度：18.3km/h
Total distance to date / 現在までの積算距離：1519.9km
Woke at 6:30am for an early start to Yining, however the motel owners were not up, so I napped until 8am when I heard movement from inside the house. The owners give me a hearty breakfast of rice porrage (really yum and lasting energy for the day). Out of town by 9am, stop for watermelon at a watermelon patch at 10:30am and don’t get away until 11:30am. Wonderfully friendly Kazakh folks.
Very contrasting landscape today. On my left is a lush valley with a fast flowing river, on my right is desolate rocky hills. There were many fishermen along the river trying to sell me fish as I passed. Most of them kindly understood why I didn’t fancy carrying fish in my panniers.
Generally downhill and a tailwind all day, apart from some slow uphills halfway through. I was nervous buying watermelon in a town on the way for tea. I was half way through getting across the fact that I wanted a watermelon when I noticed a police officer eyeing me from about 700m away. The watermelon seller also noticed (they appeared to realise that this was a closed town), and just gave me the watermelon for free and told me to leave quick. Legendary.
I ate outside of town near a bridge, and seriously considered sleeping under it. In the end I gave up on that idea and ended up sleeping in an old disused brick firing kiln.