At Xichang now. On the road at 0830, relatively easy day today with light undulations, mainly up to town at 1530m. Bumpy bitumen road (G108 which became  S107) Rolled into town at 1200 and went about extending my visa - which expires on 14/04/12 (4 days). Visited local police station which sent me to the major police station in town. I arrived around 1330 but everyone was on their lunch break so I had to return at 1430. I grabbed a bite to eat  and filled out my visa application form and returned. Just had to fill out an accomodation form and register with the police - I actually did this a while back with one of the hotel owners as they already had my details on file. The 2 female officers were very helpful and spoke a little english, they even took my photo! The next step was to visit the entry/exit of aliens office, which was about a 15 minute ride away so off I went. I was greeted by Ma, an english speaking officer. He was very impressed with me cycling all this way and I was very lucky to get a new chinese visa which expires on 10/06/12. Procedure states 30 days max with a 5 day processing period - I got 60 days on the spot! (although I lost 4 days as they count the 30 days from when you apply for the extension and not when your original visa expires, but hey, I'm not complaining - I was very lucky.  I can relax now as I have free reign in China till June 10. Ma also gave me his phone number and told me to call him if I had any questions or problems - absolute champion! So fellow cyclists, make sure to come to Xichang to get your visa extended - just ask for Officer Ma! I actually red on the warmshowers forum that a couple of french cyclists got turned around at Boten 2 weeks ago (the Lao/Chinese border I came through almost a month ago) - gees I didn't realise how lucky I was as the officers' didn't even flinch when I told them I was on a bike? It was 1600 by the time I had finished posing for photos, so went in search of some accomodation. My luck continued, with the first place I visited accepting me at the price I was after, so by 1630 I was resting comfortably.

11/04/12 - Rest Day, ride around lake and town. It's only about 40km round the lake so easy to do in 4 hours. Nice and quiet once you get out of town.You pass through plenty of  Tibetan minority towns. Bought train ticket to Beijing - not sure if it is direct or what class I got, but I asked for cheapest ticket so will probably be cattle class. Relax.

12/04/12 - Rest Day, run errands, catch 1450 train to Beijing. Will spend about a week here organising visas for the Stans. 

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