Day THREE → Anji To Lin’an (almost)
By The Boyfriend, edit and comments provided by me.
We arose early(er) (me very unhappy) to a beautiful day.
Our plan was to make 200 km a day minimum at a leisurely pace, so we set off soon after on the 201. Before long we were itching to get off road again and did so at the first opportunity.
Baited by bamboo trails we made for the mountain from a few different angles sadly to no avail. The bamboo trails, all tempting, were all dead ends. There were some thin trails up through the woods, but they were made for someone of more grit than myself (or bamboo
harvesters). Butterflies began arriving one by one like in the Birds. Although I didn’t see the end of the film I remembered poor Dan and we beat a hasty retreat (to be honest there were only two of these insects and I thought it was great and would’ve waited to see more coming, but The Boyfriend is apparently afraid of butterflies… yes…)
Back on the guodao (national road), perpendicularly, for two seconds and we were off again in search of trails without much luck.
We stopped at a shop to find some mosquito repellent (I was eaten live by these most horrible creatures of creation during the whole trip despite the repellent) and asked the locals where the nice riding might be found to which the reply was an offer of a guided tour.
I don’t know his name so I’ll call him Mr. Zhu for somehow the conversation always returned to bamboo. Mr. Zhu took us on a nice (small) road up the mountain where we chilled out for a while and I thought him how to say hairy molly (for those who don’t know, this is a “poisonous-caterpillar-thing” The Boyfriend explains).
He told me all about the bamboo, which types are better in which seasons and what for and where the best spots on the mountain were, price per jin (500 grams) and so on (and so on and so on…. It is times like these I’m happy not to understand Chinese). I have to say I couldn’t really follow what he was saying, nevertheless we were invited us to his house for lunch (which he cooked himself! It was wonderful).
Here he plied us with alcohol, it started raining and he beseeched us to have a nap at his house and sleep off the drink. It was 12 o’clock already and I think he was more in need of the nap than we were, so we set off during a break in the rain.
After some time (checking for more trails along the way) I had the feeling that this road could not be the fabled Anji twisters as it had gone a little too long and was way too straight. We turned back towards Anji and back into the rain. We passed an overturned
truck which we’re pretty sure wasn’t there when we came out and went to a petrol station to check their maps which were impossible to make out. About 45 minutes later we were back on the road (same original direction + useless maps, still raining) and just figured we’d get to LinAn and figure it out from there. The 207 off the 201 and then some country roads and we found ourselves in GaoHong, a very nice little village outside LinAn and decided to call it home.
My co-pilot was experiencing some technical difficulties (read: splitting head-ache, I wanted to die!) so I left her in the hotel and set off to make my bones in the twisties.
I didn’t go far into them when, following the usual pattern I struck off to the side and was rewarded by a very steep twisting route up into a village in the mountains.
In the first (main) stage of the village it was dinner time so everyone was outside and very surprised to see this all black astronaut roll through.
Further up I stopped to give some guy a lift up to what he reckoned was the top (the second stage), then found a trail which took me almost to the very tippie top. By then it was almost dark so I went back, going down was more fun than going up (but not as much fun as the next few days were going to be) and all in all I wasn’t very impressed by what I saw of the twisties.
The view was great, but the corners were a bit too tight so I couldn’t go as fast as I would’ve liked, I assume they get better deeper in.