We are into the last stage of the trip now: Three days ride to Xi'an and then three more to Beijing.
Motorbikes are not allowed on the new motorways so we stay on the "old" main roads. This is a mixed blessing. For: The trucks and most of the cars are on the motorway, so they are quiet. Against: Bits of them have been dug up with little in the way of diversion signs
The first town we got to the road just stopped and we were diverted through 10 km of mud and gravel. Not hard but messy and slow.
Then a lovely sweeping road of motorway standard with no traffic took us to the next town where, again, the road stopped. The footpaths were still there though so up we hopped and followed them to the town centre.
The next section through a picturesque gorge and pass was all tarmac and featured some nice temples. It was somewhat spoiled by rain, low cloud and wet roads.
Eventually after nine hours in the saddle we made it to Guangyuan, our stop for the night, and 350km nearer to the end.