After a 3.5 hour drive I finally made it to the Tianmu Mountains. A beautiful mountain range in Zhejiang province. What a different scenery compare to Suzhou, my 10 mio. inhabitant hometown.
There is no hotel with „foreigner-service“ here in this rural area, so it is also not possible to book any room at C-trip’s English website. C-Trip is the biggest travel agency in China and they have a good English service but no low-budget hotels or guest houses on the English website. In China the police/government always wants to know where a foreigner is located. As soon as a foreigner check in a hotel, the hotel directly has to make a note with passport copy to the local police. Cheap hotels and guest houses don’t provide this service, that’s why a foreigner cannot check-in in all hotels. But if you know how to handle the Chinese website, many guest houses for really cheap money are coming up and in the countryside the police is far far away and people like to make some money no matter witch passport the guest have. So I booked my room in Chinese language with google translator and I also found my way today to this remote village. Ducks and chicken and some older people are the only inhabitants here. And it is so extremely peaceful. Not a single car interrupts the birdsongs.
In this village I feel like an alien again. I guess there was no foreigner before here in this village. For sure not a foreigner just by himself and drive his own car. Big surprise for all this people here and everybody was kind of shocked when I stopped, went out of my car, showed them a paper with the address of the guesthouse and asked for directions in my body language. The people are so friendly and helpful here. They jumped into my car showed me the way and drove with me all the way to the guest house. After arrival they refused to get a ride back. It was raining cats and dog, but these people just walked back. That are the moments where I really love this country.
The race tomorrow will be one of harder ones. 51km with over 4000m total ascent. Plus the same descent for sure. We will be running over seven summits, that’s why the race called Tianmu-7. But I’m really excited and looking forward to this race. The weather will be not so good. We have to handle rain and deep clouds, what can be very uncomfortable at 1500m, but I like. 🙂 Cut-Off time is 15 hours and that’s also my target. Just arrive within these 15 hours without any broken bones or open woundsand I will be happy.