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Tour de China – Day 2

Location: Guyi, Hubei, China (32.25863°N, 112.23406°E)
Mile: 182
China has a different feel in the morning. We decided to get an early start so we left by 6am. On our way out of the city, we passed by all sorts of people going to work. Farmers carrying baskets of fresh-picked vegetables. Fruit sellers setting up the roadside stands. A street person heading into the city.
It wasn’t long before we were in the countryside. At first, all I saw were crops of rice. Then, columns of combines rumbling down the road to harvest the rice. Some people were threshing the rice with a funny looking rake. Others had spread the rice in a large circle and were threshing it by running it over with a tractor. Some were letting passing vehicles do the threshing by spreading the rice out across the highway.
Rice certainly wasn’t the only crop we encountered. Peanuts, corn, “east melons” which look like an enlongated watermelon and sugarcane were also spotted among other crops that I didn’t recognize.
We passed through the city of Xiangfan late in the afternoon. It’s a pretty large city, larger than Yichang, with an old section of the city that has a wall and moat. Sandra and I will have to come visit some day.
We didn’t stop in Xiangfan, though. We kept on riding on a very unimproved paved road with potholes so large that chickens were scratching the dirt in them. We ended up in the farming village of Guyi. It doesn’t look like it has more than 200 people and yet there are plenty of little shops (and an internet cafe!) to support the community. We found a guest house that had a few old beds for $.75 a person. No shower. Only a spigot in the central courtyard where the chickens were roosting. No bathroom except for a bucket on the stairwell. It was a steal!
I went to sleep easily.

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