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This post is about a 19km walk from Lugouqiao to Liangxiang. I am looking for nature, and I do notice some sheep on the way.

I woke up with an aching back at six in the morning and decided it was too cold outside to leave my sleeping bag.

Then my dad rang me up. Apparently my cellphone is kind of messed up these days – people have been trying to call, but I never noticed.

Anyway, I crossed Lugouqiao ๅขๆฒŸๆกฅ (also called “Marco Polo Bridge”) at around nine in the morning.

Lugouqiao or Marco-Polo-Bridge

There was a nice old lady who was analyzing the contents of my bag for her husband: “Look, he’s got a tent, walking sticks, a pad to lay down on – and he’s even carrying a pair of plastic slippers! What a big bag!”

Yeah, that’s what I thought, too…

truck near Lugouqiao

I took this picture because I liked the color and the shape of the truck. Then the lady on the picture rode her bike into the frame – and click! There it was, a perfect example of the streets I’ve been walking so far. It’s mostly just asphalt and concrete, with big and small vehicles rushing past me.

Everyone is in a hurry, but what about me? Am I in a hurry, too?

One part of me is trying to take it slow, in order to not burn out too quickly. I want to slowly adjust to the walking and the weight of my backpack and all. But another part of me really wants to get some distance between me and the city. I want to leave Beijing behind and get some fresh air to clean out my head.

walk from Lugouqiao to Liangxiang

Well, it didn’t take very long for me to run into some guys who were picking fruit in an orchard. They would beat on the trees with a long stick and pick up whatever came falling down. It felt like countryside alright, but you could still hear the highway roaring nearby, so I kept on walking.

And then I saw the sheep:

walk from Lugouqiao to Liangxiang

This was when I first had an obscure thought like: Maybe I’m not in the city anymore?

It felt good. Also, I generally like sheep. I don’t know what it is about them, but they calm me down.

All in all, I think I should make myself walk slower. My feet are killing me. I will put them in a bowl with hot water tonight, though. That’s supposed to help.

Oh, and you wanna know something very sad? I lost one of my trekking poles – and I hadn’t even tried them out, yet!

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