We celebrated Halloween today by walking 30 km. We got our earliest start yet, leaving the hotel at 6 am, only to find we were locked in the parking lot. With no one at the reception, we eventually figured out that the closest building to the gate was where the guard was and got let out. Nowhere was open yet for breakfast so we sat in a restaurant till just before 7 am to eat. We then hit the road to a heavy sprinkle, the kind that soaks you by the end of the day because it never feels strong enough to wear a rain coat. We walked along the same road as yesterday. We passed beautiful hilly mountains covered in green, orange, yellow, and red trees. The clouds hung to the top of the hillsides as the rain formed a mist throughout them. A regular discussion through this section has been what differentiates a hill or a mountain. We passed a canyon that looked only slightly smaller than Kolob canyon of Zion with brown walls instead of red and a stream forming a waterfall flowing through it. We ate lunch under an overpass to escape the rain. The beautiful scenery around us was only broken up by the passing trucks which launched a mist into the air as they passed, followed by a cold biting circulating air current. We also passed through the occasional dry, warm, and loud tunnel, which fortunately enough for us weren’t dusty today. The tunnels are usually about a kilometer in length and amplify sound like nothing I have ever experienced. A single truck driving through the tunnel often left me certain that there must be a train above us only for the noise to vanish the moment the truck reached the end of the tunnel.
We arrived in town and did what has now become our custom when our phones direct us to a hotel that doesn’t exist, and began to wander around looking for someone who could point us in the right direction. Across the square a man saw the lost foreigners and ushered over. Sure enough his place was a hotel. Pat checked out the room, bartered for the price then agreed and gave the man his passport. As we have become accustomed to I imagine he paused for a moment with a look of confusion as it was clearly not a Chinese ID. Pat showed him how he should log the passport into the books, and he hurriedly ushered us in and off the street, out of site. While someone else showed us to the room, we joked that he probably left immediately to get the police. As we plopped on the beds and worked out the most complicated wifi password we had ever seen, the owner returned with the police. The police decided it would be alright for us to stay in the hotel even though it isn’t for foreigners and that we would just need to go to another hotel to register. The senior one then went out and made a phone call. When he returned, he took photos of our passports and visa and decided that would be enough. We were relieved to have had such a easy time finally getting registered again.
Distance: 30 km
Total Distance: 294 km
Written by Timb