Kevin and I feel the need to get to Urumqi and begin cycling. Shorting our stay in Beijing and Urumqi means we will be on the road, almost a week ahead of schedule. Weighing our options between training from Beijing to Xi’an then on to Urumqi or flying directly we find a flight priced with an irresistible price.
Arriving to Urumqi, we again take the cheap route, getting a ride on the city bus that drops us off at a traffic circle in the city, leaving us standing on the side of the road, with boxes, once again. This time we favor out bodies, flag down a truck and spend the next two hours driving around with the jolly and patient driver, looking for a hostel that seems not to exist. With a since of utter deflation, we unloaded our still boxed bikes on a street corner. While Kevin heads off in search of the elusive hostel or any hotel for that matter, Chris stays with the bikes and watches the street sellers push their carts of dried apricots, dates, raisins and nuts along the road side.
What we finally learn is that the hostel we had been searching for, for the past 3 hours was just across the street.
We send the early afternoon hours at the hostel, assembling out bikes and packing out bags, amazed at how, what seemed to be a small assortment of gear barely fits into our five bags. Occasionally we have an audience of hostel goers, old men and finally a man who lives in Urumqi and is an English teacher.