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First snows

First snows - web

First snows. I’d expected rain, heard the gentle pitter patter during the night. Woken to find a light dusting on the surrounding steep hillsides. The odd cyclist trundling by, often with an umbrella to provide some shelter from the still falling flakes.

Suppose I shouldn’t have been that surprised. Overnight temperatures forecast to be a few degrees above freezing, a band of rain passing through. An altitude of about six thousand feet. But still quite a contrast from the bright, sunny weather just a few days earlier, then a pleasant low twenties by mid-morning.

By nine the snow had stopped. Roads wet rather than slushy. Passing vehicles a light smattering at worst. A check of the map, the route through the mountains to Xi’an (pronounced Shian). I’d be on the provincial road, akin to an A road in the UK, rather than the dual carriageway. Probably safer if conditions worsened, but tougher, slower riding, the road surface often poor.

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