Not much of a cycling image but one of a punt that takes you into the old village of Bamei through a long dark limestone tunnel which leads you into a hidden valley of green bamboos and ancient trees with green fields encased by the surrounding hills. Totally enchanting. So thats where we went straight after breakfast arriving about 0830 and being some of the first of the day to explore this beautiful and tranquil oasis.
You are treated to the sounds and sight of hundreds of swallows as you enter the cave and you journey about 1.5kms through to the valley in almost darkness but you can make out the stalactites above. the people of the village are part of the Zhuang minority and appear to have a charmed life being totally self sufficient.
A wonderful four hours away from the road. So the cycle ride of the day started at mid-day with a 7% 5 mile climb for the boys which they tackled with ease whilst Mark was exhausted just filming them! The cycling continued for about three hours stopping in Chengzhong for late lunch in a beef restaurant with one table that seats six and as you walk through the door you are confronted with a whole carcass of beef being slowly dissected by the owner depending on the customer’s wishes.
Needless to say John had two pieces of steak whilst the rest of us have spicy beef stir fry with rice, beef stock and green leaf soup. We staggered out about an hour and a half later for the boys to continue their ride yet again ascending dizzy heights before the prize of a fast and curvaceous decent to the plains. After about two hours the bikes were laden onto the car and we drove to Baise arriving at 9pm. What a day, Yet again.
To see the journey into the Shangri-La village of Bamei, the incredible cycling and the lunch in the one table beef restaurant, visit the video…