- Tiffany Coates
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Submitted by Tiffany on 4 November, 2011 - 12:27
The party and speeches at the BMW dealership were finally over. As the bikes weren't allowed any further into the city, we were being transferred by bus. Once more for us all the ignominy of decanting bike panniers into a bus luggage compartment. Off we went though the traffic jams of central Beijing to our hotel which had a great location overlooking the Forbiden City. It was also rather handily just down the road from the night time food market, now I'm not sure why it only runs at night but I suspect it might be because the dusk and dark provide a welcome smolescreen between our eyes and the food as some of it does not bear closer inspection. Many a time the comment
"What on earth are you eating?" was heard, often with the answer "Don't know and don't care as it tastes OK!"
If it moves it's liable to be eaten in China. The next morning we had an early start over the more conventional food on offer at the hotel breakfast buffet. A slightly solemn occasion as this was going to be the last ride of the bikes but also the on-going congratulatory air of "We made it!"
We rode in convoy to Tianjin the port that serves Beijing which felt a bit like Fort Knox to get into as we had to be escorted from the port gates. A final check of the bikes just before they were loaded into the container and then we headed back into Beijing on an extremely fast train. Each carriage had a digital speedo reading and the locals looked on in amazement as we pulled out our cameras to get pictures of the speed reading, 320kms per hour was the fastest. For the not so metrically-minded, that's 198 mph.We had a couple more days to enjoy the varied sights to see in Beijing.