We would not stay in Tianshui one more night! As hospitable and enjoyable the people and places have been to us over the last four days, we woke to know that this was goodbye. We ate at our hotel's buffet breakfast one last time before we start eating muesli every morning.
Our friend from earlier drove us to the hotel that had been storing our trailers after breakfast. She said her goodbye (in the most un-Minnesotan way, quick and to the point) with hugs and well wishes. We walked out of the town and into a canyon pass which would eventually take us to Qin’An. It was spectacular getting out of the city and onto a dirt road that wove with the river as it cut through the surrounding mountains. The sound of silence no longer brought with it the sound of cars and trucks but birds and a babbling river. Small villages dotted the road and clung to the riverside; growing crops in the floodplain that only comes in spring. Old and young people alike were sitting on the roadside soaking in the sun as we walked by. As we passed, their heads would turn to look at us, our trailers and the insane amount of stuff we carry. Multiple people approached us throughout the day and offered apples as a token of safety and good luck. We were given a total of 13 apples today.
When we finally made it to Qin’An, we knew we were in another important Silk Road City, the amount of ancient and predominant structures around alone were a tip-off. A temple was overseeing the city, an old street that could have easily been built in the year 200BC and the city center building that looks just as old as the street leading up to it. At the same, it was being overtaken by a growing city all around it.
One recurring pattern is that as we stay in these cities, we are finding it harder and harder to find a place that can host foreigners. Twice in the past three days, we have had to move out of our room in the night only to find a new inn that would accept us. From now on our route takes us farther and farther away from the cities and deeper into the country side. We eagerly await an upcoming week of camping.
Distance: 24 km
Total Distance: 472 km
End: Qin’An – Hotel
Written by Paul