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TTT’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 23 Aug 2008

Location: Beijing, China

MapStill can't work out what day we are on, we've packed in a shed load more stuff since I last wrote to you.

A couple of admin bits:

Thank you to all of you for your messages and apologies if you haven't seen a reply. They just take so long to do. We have really loved hearing from you all, so for those we haven't responded to individually: Daniela, Diane, Sarah, Oscar and Ella, to name but a few, thank you and love to you all.

Michelle - Thanks for the 9.30pm GMT, 3.30am Beijing time call today! Hope I made sense as I talked to you whilst asleep.

Liam - Thanks for the drunken 3.30am GMT, 11.30am Beijing time call. I hope your hangover is not too bad by the time you read this.

This is probably going to be our last entry, we hope you like our latest piccies. There's two reasons it will be:

Beijing is a tempermental city weather wise and today it is baking hot, so we're off to hire some bikes shortly to tackle the traffic by ourselves, unaided, without a guide. We have been told the principle to travel is to keep flowing like water, so cars, buses, bikes, pedestrians fit themselves into any nooks and crannies they can, just to keep going. We should be OK, as long as we keep one eye shut and cringe a lot.

Censorship - It is crackers. Each time I write, I come to a typical internet cafe where at first I am told I cannot upload pictures, then after debate, the locked away hard drive is opened up, just long enough for me to upload photos. I am ushered away from other users, to a room by myself, Dominic is not allowed to play games on a computer next to me. The Censorship doesn't end there either, security checks everywhere we go are kinda mad too. All this on top of the constant 'can I have my picture taken with your cute son' has now worn a bit thin. What China giveth with one hand, it takes away with the other! Actually, it doesn't at all, nothing like it in fact, but hopefully you get the grumpy point I am trying to make here.

So... we took the toboggan back down from our hike across part of The Great Wall. That was an amazing day, we're going back the day after tomorrow to repeat the experience. Culturally, it is the best thing we have seen.

The absolute highlights; firstly has to be Team GB's peformance, inspirational! We're back at the Bird's Nest tonight and I am hoping we get at least a medal if not gold in the men's 4 x 400 relay. We bagged the fastest qualifying time yesterday, but it was close.

Sad for the 4 x 100 girls yesterday, it was heart wrenching watching the baton drop, especially because until that point it looked like we were going to get a medal.

Secondly; seeing in action the olympic legend Usain Bolt. He looks super human and he is such a show boater when he gets the inevitable gold medal. You would be though wouldn't you? Liam, when we zoom into the pictures we are going to bring home, they are much better of him, but for now, I hope this one will do. As well as many of him, we've taken a picture of the screen that says WR for you. He's Dom's hero too.

For the closing ceremony, we're going to hook up with a group of team GB fans, where one of the big screens in the city is. Should be a crackin' night.

Got to go, a message has just popped up on my screen, 'cos it is in Chinese I can't tell what it says, but I am guessing it is something like your time is up and you're going to get kicked off.

C'mon TEAM GB and we love China!

T & D x x x