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Day 16. Qingdao to Jiaonan

Saturday, September 26, 2009 permalink [Permalink]

It was going to be a day where the group will split over conflicting agendas. We ride South, Ray and Alex continue South-West.

Today was going to be a bit of a problematic day.  The group was divided as to what course the next leg should take.  Bill & Dave wanted to go south, whereas Ray and Alex wanted to go back inland.  Little Dave had already left that morning for Shanghai because he had an early flight to catch.

So in reality it was down to me, which way would I go - back inland to see Confucius' home town, or cycle along the sea and get in some more miles.  I must admit that it was a tough decision.  The idea of seeing Confucius' home town was very seductive, however, I haven't been doing that much cycling in the past few months and the idea of a few more miles under the belt was more appealing, irrespective of the cycling conditions.

Saying Goodbye to Alex & Ray
[Saying Goodbye to Alex & Ray]

So in the end, we said goodbye to Ray and Alex and boarded a ferry to get us to the other side of the Qingdao bay towards Xinjiekou.

Our ferry ride over to Xinjiekou
[Our ferry ride over to Xinjiekou]

The scenery wasn't all that eventful on the ferry, but I did manage to spot a cargo ship registered in Valletta - it's always pleasant to see a reminder of my home placated on the side of a ship.

Valletta on the horizon
[Valletta on the horizon]

We took a few wrong turns and ended up in the middle of a port city stinking of rotting and salted fish.  I can't say those few kilometres were very pleasant, but when we eventually found the right way towards Jiaonan the road improved, as did our speed.

Stinky port city

Finding a hotel wasn't a problem and after a few minutes of navigating we were lucky to get a local to offer and lead us there.  In actual fact, we were quite surprised to find such a nice hotel surrounded by such awful scenery - very industrial and polluted.

We can almost see our beds for the night
[We can almost see our beds for the night]

If it was cycling we were after, we certainly got that today.  With an early start, we arrived a little after 3pm and had plenty of time to look around the local shopping complex which was part of the hotel.  The star attraction of the day though, was the all you could eat buffet which had something for everyone.  For me, that was the vegetarian sushi and plenty of wasabi :)

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