It is very flat and empty where we are right now. There is a ridge of steep desert embankment we continually follow on our right. Somewhere beyond the smog on the left ought to be some large snow-capped mountains. In the middle, though, shepherds, sheep, and yellowed grass surrounds us. The Great Wall is on our right now, too. Although here the only greatness it embodies is simply its continuous length. The wall standing off in the distance looks the same as the local clay walls surrounding the fields, older though and stretching out of sight even in this flat land.
It is really only cold when you are not in the sun or the wind is blowing. This weather does not stop us or the locals in these rural farming communities from going about their day. Whether transporting hay in as few trips as possible or drawing water from a well people have been a constant today as we draw near Shāndān. A noticeable change from a couple of days before. Entering the small town (small, only in the Chinese sense) we were immediately met by a mosque and a church. One thing I have learned about China during this trip is their sense of unity. They are together as Chinese whether Muslim, Buddhist or Christian, it doesn’t matter.
Distance: 22 km
Total Distance: 1262 km
End: Shandan (山丹)- Hotel
Written by Timb