Not happy with yesterdays 80km jaunt, today we headed west instead of east. We took a 110k loop which circled around Sheshan, stopped off in Zhujiajiaozhen, made it to the lake, made our jaws drop on the floor and then slogged 40k home in a blustery head wind. Not for the faint hearted. Map here.
We've been to Sheshan before so didn't pay the red note or two to climb up to the observatory and basilica. Instead kept on trucking, stopping every so often to down 4 pints of water trying to compensate for the 38c heat bearing down on our backs. Thank god for finding the rapha sleeves - a true godsend.
From Sheshan we headed north-west towards the lakes with a stop off for lunch. The small watertown of Zhujiajiaozhen seemingly has two specialities; (1) heavy glutinous rice balls stuffed with sesame or red bean or pork (2) something fantastic; lumps of pork wrapped in banana leaves and boiled until they're like mouthfuls of soft pork butter. Absolutely delicious.
We've heard of this impossible aircraft carrier on a tiny patch of water next to Dianshan Lake, and honestly, after checking google maps last night - it was the main reason we came out. Call me doubting Thomas but until I saw it with my own eyes I couldn't beleive it was true.
They've only gone and built a full scale replica of the Soviet Varyag... out of concrete. The original was supposedly bought in order to make a new Macau casino but it has since been undergoing an engine and capabilities refit. One can only guess as to why they'd build something like this but here it is in the middle of Oriental Land, a family park where for 50RMB you can walk around the gardens, ride the go-karts and puke on the pirate ship... all hardy Chinese past-times... or for 120RMB you can climb aboard an entirely fake aircraft carrier complete with real fighter jets and choppers.