Had to say goodbye to our rest area and continue down the road (the Silk Road to be precise!) today. We decided to get back on the main Silk Road a few days ago and now we’re finally on it. The difference can be felt as we are no longer climbing mountains that lack switchbacks and have a gradient of 45 degrees. Our route now meanders through the mountains and moves more like a river than a general brush stroke over some mountains.
One thing that’s fascinating about the places we’re walking through currently is the amount of terracing that has been done to the mountain side. As far as the eye can see we see mountains and they have been completely stripped of their original face for that of one that can now grow food for the hungry population of China. On one hand, it is downright impressive what humans can do to reshape their landscape and make it practical, yet on the other I yearn to know what the landscape looked like without all the human impact. Walking through a cornfield in Shaanxi or Iowa you don’t get the same feeling because it’s flat, it’s when you have mountain sides being used in the same way that’s confusing. It’s no longer striking and independent but convenient and practical. I’m very much in debt to these terraces though as I eat the local food provided to us with no qualms. Also, who am I to say? I’m just passing through anyways.
Distance: 24 km
Total Distance: 604 km
End: Jinpingxiang – Room
Written by Paul