Across Continents

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Rough roads and hazy memories

Familiar names. Shangnan. Xixia. Dengzhou. Last few overnight stops. Yet already hazy. Jumbled fragments of imagery. Confused. Cluttered with recollections of the road. Dust. Diesel fumes. Stretches reduced to rough track by heavy lorries. Struggles with shambolic local traffic.

lorries - web

None of the places I’d stopped were without merit. Not least because each evening I’d negotiated a suitable room rate. And then, next day, presented with bill for rather less. As perplexing as the dimness of memory.

Difficult choice east of Xixia. Leave the relative certainty of the G312 National road for a much more direct route to the city of Xiangfan. A day less. But on a lesser Provincial road. Risk it might deteriorate to little more than a rough track.

Worries proving surprisingly unfounded. Rapid progress. Much of it along a tree lined avenue, as if back in France. Warm sun. Day dreaming. Summers back in Pembrokeshire. Childhood memories. Pleasant recollections. And yet, until fairly recently, I’d lost touch with my best friend from those days. Hoping to be reunited in North America after over a quarter of a century. Perhaps riding together once more. Lots to talk about.

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