5 October, 2004
I was watching the GPS count down the kilometers.
We were riding down a dirt road on the outskirts of
Beijing. It was a rough track, full of potholes, but lined with twin columns of trees, like most of the roads in China.
The GPS said we were only about five kilometers away from the spot where we’d picked up the bikes when we set out on our tour of China. It seemed impossible that this crude road could be that close to the bustling commercial strip that we’d putted away from a couple of weeks before, but I trusted the numbers the Garmin GPS V was showing me. It had been our trustworthy guide for our year of exploration of the world, from Africa to the Himalayas to the Middle East and now across China.
4.8, 4.6, 4.3, the numbers clicked down. It was hard to believe this year of exploration, adventure and discovery was ending. We’d ridden various motorcycles over 18,300 miles (29,451 kilometers) across the globe while exploring the world’s major non-European societies, and these were the last few miles.
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