We awoke early enough to watch the sunrise. The orange mountain peaks were slowly dripping color down their slopes as we ate breakfast. Breakfast was lamb meat dumplings dipped in vinegar and hot pepper sauce. At the door, a few locals greeted us with the usual excitement and curiosity about us and our trailers. The peoples’ reactions who ask are ever-elating as we distance ourselves from Xi’an in their amazement at how far we’ve come, and this is usually asked a few times in different ways to ensure they have understood correctly. (From where? You walked? From Where? And you didn’t take a car? Lì Hai!—Awesome!) The reaction of our final destination seems to be getting easier to accept or maybe we’re just getting better at explaining it—probably both.
From town, we entered yet another expanse of flatness with the occasional scar left in the landscape by one seasonal river or another. Either way, they are all dry now. As we continue along our asphalt companion, route G312, the torrent of trucks shipping goods to and fro and the random Ford or Chevy passing by reminds us that the ancient silk road is alive and well.
Not that cold today and very pleasant for walking. Although a bit smoggier than usual, the afternoon sun was all but hidden and we didn’t realize we had arrived at our intended destination until we were already there. Considering we could almost see our destination before we set out for the day, it was a truly oppressive amount of smog that settled over us as the day went on.
Distance: 26 km
Total: 1509 km
End: Xiàhéqīngxiāng (下河清乡 - down river clear village) — Hotel
Written by Pat