Our group consists of 10 motorcycle riders: three from Australia, two from Thailand, one from China (our guide), one from the USA (that's me), one from Taiwan, one from the Canary Islands, and one from Colombia. There are also several women riding on the back of the motorcycles: one from Colombia, two from Australia, one from Thailand, one from Taiwan, and my own Jessica who lives in Holland. We also have one support vehicle, a van, which carries our luggage. It is driven by a nice man from China. As you can see, we are quite a diverse group.
Here are Jessica and me stopped for a quick photo at the Yangtze River.
For the most part, the roads have been fast and smooth. You do have to be very careful of the stray cows, yaks, walkers, lorries, slow drivers, and other such obstacles. Jessica and I came within a whisker of hitting a calf that took a sudden notion to dart across the road. Our throwing on the brakes saved her; she was able to join her mamma safely.
The towns have been large, and getting through traffic has been a challenge. It takes a lot of lane splitting and aggressive riding to negotiate 10 motorcycles through traffic.
I have been very impressed with cities in China. Although most of them seem very large, they almost always have a well preserved "Old City". Sometimes our hotel was in the old city, and we usually had time to walk around and enjoy the shops and people.
Every evening people came out to exercise by dancing. These were normally women, but sometimes the men joined in.
Usually the roads were excellent, but on our first day riding up through the mountains toward Tibet, there had been so much rain that the road had been buried in landslides so that some of the routes we wanted to take had been closed to all traffic.
At one spot, we were the first in line at a landslide that had just happened. When the road finally opened, the women decided to walk through while we men slip-slided our motorcycles through. The women were smart. Here, daughter Jessica took my picture when it came my turn. It was quite difficult to negotiate the road, I can tell you.
We have been riding higher and higher into the mountains of Tibet. You can see glaciers on the distant mountains, and prayer flags just behind Jessica.
Buddhism is the main religion up here in Tibet, and there are many monasteries. The monks, like all the people, are very friendly. Can you see the monk in the center getting his picture taken with us? He loved it.
I wish I had time to show you all the pictures Jessica and I have taken. I can tell you that this has been a marvelous trip. It is my first time, ever, going with a group on a paid tour, but I can tell you that it has been a treat from beginning to end.
It has been a long day, but a very fine one. Goodnight for now.