Today’s distance / ???????: 59.9 miles / 96.3km
Average speed / ????: 9.1mph / 14.7km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 6h 33m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 6110mi plus 377mi (?) / 9834km plus 606km (?)
Ascent / ??: 405m
Descent / ??: 435m
End-of-day GPS coordinates: N35°17′54.7″, E107°36′01.4″
The following photo sums up today’s skating.
Busier than it looks in the photo, China National Highway 312 from Pingliang going east is wide, noisy, boring, and non-descript. It was very much a head down, foot-to-the pavement pushing day to get the miles covered.
Lunch however was a welcome diversion, as it got me off the main road and onto a nice side street with locals hang-drying noodles on the roadside.
Try as I might, talking to the locals was like pulling teeth. Not only were they not interested (an extreme rarity), but they seem to speak a different language here. Not that this is the first time I have encountered a dramatic regional variation in the Chinese language in China. In Japan there are extreme differences in dialect. So much so that even native Japanese people cannot understand the dialect of another province sometimes. In Japan, the words themselves are completely different in some cases.
I have found however, that in China the words themselves are the same all over. It’s the pronounciation that seems to differ between regions. And unlike Japan, locals seem unable to speak in the standard Chinese; the ‘Beijing’ Mandarin Chinese. In Japan, at least someone who usually speaks the local dialect will speak to you in the standard Japanese if you’re not from that region. Sheesh…learning Chinese is tough when no one speaks it in China.
My day ended with a stiff 400m climb. That was after 85km and a big dinner. My stomach was not happy. I considered trying to push on to the next major town (Changwu), but gave up when I was told I had another 20km to go, and it was getting dark.