I arrive in Changsha in the night. And I’m so tired that the city appears to me as one of the biggest cities in China. Hours pass from the moment I enter this metropolitan until I finally reach my hostel. For the first time, I feel like dropping the whole journey. The weather is sizzling hot and I am fully exhausted from the last 4000 kilometers of cycling. To me, big Chinese city look more and more similar to me. Busy people chasing time, shopping in malls and eat in restaurants. It’s mostly pressure and stress in the face of the people. The contrast to the slow life in the country side couldn’t be any bigger. What’s the meaning of all that cycling? What if I just took a train back to Hangzhou…?Within 350 kilometers, I came across two provincial capital cities, Wuhan in Hubei and Changsha in Hunan. My way through Changsha led me to Juzi Zhou with a big Mao Zedong statue. I even see some people swim in the Xiangjiang River, just like former Chairman Mao. They were totally exhausted, but seemed proud to pay tribute to the chairman. The passion in their eyes let me think about the journey I’ve already done. But it’s still another 1500 kilometers to the finish line.
Shaoshan – Birthplace of “the” Chairman
The swimmers of Changsha in front of the big Mao statue somehow gave me new motivation to continue to Huaminglou, the hometown of Liu Shaoqi. Then the journey continues to Shaoshan . I have never thought of accidentally coming across dozens of “most important places in China”. And for many Chinese the birthplace of Mao Zedong, Shaoshan, certainly belongs to the top of this list. To be honest, it is done nicely, very informative and almost free of charge. Despite all the challenges along the way, this journey through the country opens up my horizon. Physically, mentally and regarding the understanding for the Chinese culture. And for this, I keep going the last 1500 Kilometers to the South. Driven by the power of will.Fighting!