Week 9: A Letter to the Wind God

Kumul to Turpan, Xinjiang, China

Team Road of Smiles
North Face Minibus 2 Tent,
3 Mounds Avenue, nr Turpan,
The Taklamakan Desert,
Xinjiang Province,
PRC.

Wind God,
Cloud 4, Cumulonimbus Towers,
The Sky,
Beijing,
PRC.

Dear Wind God,

Can you please bugger orf? Seriously, you have been blowing into our faces now for two weeks without letting up. We were willing to accept that you were perpetually of north-easterly origin and were thus most excited by the prospect of finally heading southwest towards Turpan. Why would you choose the same day to change your daily routine?

One extremely rare image of wind actually blowing sideways.

One extremely rare image of wind actually blowing sideways.

We must inform you, if it was not obvious already, that climbing steadily uphill for two days straight takes its toll on two young chaps. The scenery may seem quite spectacular to outside observers, which we would agree it is, but the pictures do not tell the stories of hardship that we encounter on a daily basis: the melting chocolate, the over friendly neighbours, the saddle sore treatment etc etc. To unleash your fury on us, not only whilst riding but also when we are trying to stealth camp, really is a most unwarranted act of selfishness.

The Long...

The Long…

...And (not so) winding road

…And (not so) winding road

Admittedly, the road signs did try to warn us against melting chocolate.

Admittedly, the road signs did try to warn us against melting chocolate…

...but unfortunately there was no sign warning about the dangers of the overly friendly locals

…but unfortunately there was no sign warning about the dangers of the overly friendly locals

Do not misunderstand us, we are grateful for your existence especially as we enter a region that has recorded the third hottest temperature in the world. We need you, your cool caressing and your gentle touch. But we ask you, dear Wind God, work with us, not against us. Aim at our backs not at our foreheads. Take us in your powerful arms and propel us forward to our loved ones. Give help not hindrance to allow us to enjoy the vineyards, the weird brick buildings that do not seem to have any function, and the plaster-made diplodocuses on the side of the road.

Vines at the Chateau Mutton-Rothschild are growing healthily

Vines at the Chateau Mutton-Rothschild are growing healthily

Entirely made of nougatine, Xinjiang's answer to Hansel and Gretel's house of sweets

Entirely made of nougatine, Xinjiang’s answer to Hansel and Gretel’s house of sweets

Danger: wild animals crossing

Danger: wild animals crossing

This will be our final warning Wind God. You have chosen to ignore our verbal grievances and this will be our last friendly exchange. If by noon tomorrow we do not feel you have shifted your direction we will be left with no choice but to go to the big man himself. Yes, you heard us, we know Xi Jinping, we used to play Majhong together back in the day and one more gust from you in the wrong direction will result in the daddy of all retribution. Everyone knows that nature can defeat man but nature will never defeat the Middle Kingdom.

Yours sincerely,

Team Road of Smiles (don’t make us change our name!)

wind farm Xinjiang

After a long and heated debate, the horses of Xinjiang have decided to join the cause and sign our petition to the Wind God

After a long and heated debate, the horses of Xinjiang have decided to join the cause and sign our petition to the Wind God

2 thoughts on “Week 9: A Letter to the Wind God

  1. Pingback: Shanghai to London by bicycle - Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

  2. Dear Oli and Matthieu,
    Thank you for your update and for caressing the language a little.
    We are embarking on our own Road of Smiles Day on Tuesday 25th June and will be trying to work out the number of bowls of noodles you need to eat to propel yourself a la bicyclette from Shanghai to Londres. There is nothing more dispiriting than a headwind!
    Great blogs, thank you, beautifully written and great to share with our wee ones.
    Happy pedalling!
    Edward
    NPS

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