We reached the city of Chita today. During the past week our landscapes changed again as we cycled from Улан-Удэ. We went along several large open valleys without trees. Fortunately it wasn’t very hot, but the dry open valleys reminded me some of places in the American west (dry grasslands like the eastern plains of Colorado, but not yet so dry as the sagebrush valleys in Nevada). It was relatively flat terrain, though at times the road builders seem to have found the available hills on sides of the valleys to send the road up and down. The insects this past week have also significantly diminished, so hopefully we’ve seen the worst of them in June and July. It was nice to even sit outside the tent after arriving in camp.
In Улан-Удэ we had met with my brother, Bert, and sister-in-law, Jean. It was nice to see them again. It was also a bit like Christmas in July as they brought a new wheel and new tent. Both were used during this past week and are working well. Jean returned to the US and Bert is now with us in Chita and ready for the next phase of the trip. We’ll take a rest day here first in Chita.
After Chita we anticipate some tough cycling. The road from here to Khabarovsk was officially opened in 2004, but there is reportedly still ~1700km (over 1000 miles) of gravel and a lot of road construction. We’re getting info we can about the road and will also need to bring a few days of provisions as we anticipate up to 300km between towns. It may be a bit before you see photos or full reports of our progress since not sure we’ll find internet for a while. We do have one experiment to give a limited progress update [no photos or text], which is to use a cell phone SMS message to send along a brief update. If that works you might see brief one-liner SMS message and the map page will have our location.
However, before all that, plan to upload text and photos from this past week travels from Улан-Удэ as well as take a rest day here in Chita to get everything prepared.