written/non-written things by me (from 2005-2008)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Riding Alone for a Thousand Miles" + 600 give or take

A little more than 24 hours left in Beijing. I am scrambling to get myself together, despite having thought about this trip for over a year. I recall almost one year ago Haiyan and I watched the beautiful film "Riding Alone for a Thousand Miles" about a famous ancient play from Yunnan of the same name. I wrote about it here in this blog and mentioned my early aspirations for going to Yunnan. To quote the most overquoted English quote that CHinese people know "Where there is a will there is a way" So, I guess I have a will.

Well, here is a map I took hours making on google earth. I designed a route using this man's extensive notes of the region and bit of help from Bike Asia-a touring group based out of the small town of Yangshuo. I've been in contact with them for a while and they know that I will be dropping by sometime soon. So that's a little piece of mind. These maps are a tentative guide, but I am sure my plans will deviate necessarily at times. At least I hope so. But when starting its something to work with. Total journey should be about 1600 miles over the course of 80 days. My first cycling day being Friday February 23rd. I leave plenty of time for meanderings and explorations. I will talk more about the geographic/cultural situations that I encounter in on-the-road posts, but basically I will be going from rice paddies and karst limestone pinnacles, to Himalayan foothills and high plateaus, back down to subtropical jungles and hill regions. Culturally, this is the seat of minority culture in China: Dai, Miao, Naxi, etc. From an economic standpoint, I will pass through tourist villages and "working" "authentive"villages. I will see a cross-section of Buddhist practices, from Tibetan monestaries to the Burmese and Thai Stupas that typify southeast Asian Buddhism. Poltically, I will negotiate through communist-state controlled regions, localized village political systems and skirt along the militarized border of the closed authoritarian governed country of Myanmar(Burma) and along the undeveloped poorer nation of Laos. I've chosen these three provinces because of their climate, landscape, culture, and political variety. And I think I will come out of this changed for the better. The duration of riding for this amount of time will be tough, yes. But the big personal challenge
will hover around that key word in the title of the film, "Alone." I think I have readied myself, that is I am ready for myself. Wish me luck.

My name is Hannah Pierce-Carlson