It sure seems like a switch has been flipped on the weather since the new year has rolled around. It was another windy day and our coldest one yet. At least now with the dusting of snow, it feels like winter to us. The Great Wall ran right next to our road today. The only way its greatness can be seen here, though, is in how long it continues as we follow along with it day after day now. It looks only slightly larger than the walls around the fields, and the wall is now gone here almost equal to the amount that remains.
We luckily found a guest house tonight to avoid the cold, and as we walked in, they excitedly showed us a picture they had of two foreigners on the wall. They then showed us other videos of bikers who came through. Finally, they pulled out a guest book of all the foreigners who had stayed here while traveling the silk road or on longer journeys around the world. While paging the book we found an entry from Christoph Rehage from 2008 on his The Longest Way journey to walk from Beijing to Germany. When we first began planning our journey it was over a year into the planning process before someone we talked to believed that our dream was possible. During that time, it was people like Christoph having already re-blazed the trail on foot that we could look to for reassurance that what we wanted to do was in fact possible. Since then we have exchanged a couple of emails for advice, but it feels cool to be in place and find evidence of his journey now.
It is amazing that it took less than 10 minutes tonight to feel connected to this tiny place not even on the map by the community of Silk Road travelers who have passed through and especially to the people creating this connection for us. The husband and wife are really excited that Paul and Pat can speak Chinese to them and I am grateful for their excitement in us and those who came to this tiny modern hub for Silk Road travelers. It has made this evening so special.
Distance: 27 km
Total Distance: 1289 km
End: Donglezhen (东乐)- Restaurant/Inn
Written by Timb