It's Hot in Here

 We had reached Sichuan Province and the temperatures had risen considerably. I was wearing just shorts and a t-shirt under my bike gear and was still sweating copiously. The contrast with the icy temperatures and the snowstorms we'd been through in Tibet could not have been more marked.

Congestion on the roads meant that our progress was restricted and we were unable to benefit from the cooler breezes that are gained at higher speeds. It was tiring work. Making our way through some of the cities was hard, the low speeds and the necessity of slowing down to check the GPS and peer at road signs meant I was getting even warmer. The humidity in this part of China is very high – as a Brit, I don’t deal with humidity very well and would find myself virtually melting every time we stopped – as were many of the others in our group. Never mind there was often an ice cream vendor nearby, though after sampling the one that was made of mushy peas I was a bit more choosy about the flavours I picked.

The humid temperatures are also a sign that it’s monsoon season, possibly not the best time to be in this part of China. The news on the telly showed lots of scenes of the devastation caused by the heavy rains and floods to the south and east of us. Hmmm, isn’t that the area we’ve just had to by-pass anyway due to being thrown out of Tibet? Our guides confirmed that yes, some of the roads we were supposed to have travelled have been destroyed whilst others would have been quite perilous to travel on including the Leaping Tiger Gorge. So maybe the Government did us a favour by forcing us to take the northern route.