a day in the life

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08:00 – Wake up from alarm clock. Open eyes, extend arm from sleeping bag, touch radiator. Feel the cold, close eyes again.

09:06 – Get up. Turn on computer and write up yesterday’s post. Check map. Look at total kilometers.

10:04 – Write “25,7” on back of left hand: that would mark kilometer no. 1000.


10:10 – Upload post. Put on clothes, brush teeth.

10:24 – Check successful upload and comments on post. Shut down computer. Put on gaiters and rest of gear.

10:41 – Leave room, go to reception desk.

10:48 – Step out of hotel and into the snow. Set up GPS, get ready to leave the “most polluted city in all China”: Linfen.


10:53 – Notice wrong filter on wide angle lens. Curse.


11:17 – Take break to pee, change filter.



12:11 – Get stopped by a dude in a car. Accept invitation for lunch nearby.


12:15 – Meet up with dude in restaurant. Have a merry lunch with a bunch of new friends.

14:02 – Take group photographs, shake hands. Leave restaurant, get back on the highway.


14:25 – Get sprayed by coal truck. Briefly examine water damage. Wave arms and fists, scream and curse and rage.

wet road


15:11 – Get stopped by friends again. Receive best wishes and printed group pictures. Smile.


15:47 – Buy ice tea in small shop next to the road. Sit down and chat with Hao Ting ๆ˜Šๅฉท and her mother.

16:50 – Check the time. Hurriedly say good-bye and rush out the door.


16:53 – Look at dudes trying to get their car out from a roadside ditch.




18:12 – Get to destination by nightfall: Xiangfen.

Shanxi at night


18:17 – Ask kid for directions to a hotel.


18:20 – Ask lady for directions to a hotel.


18:28 – Go to best hotel in town.

18:31 – Frown at their rates: 130rmb.


18:35 – Go to second best hotel in town.

18:39 – 126rmb. Frown again.

18:43 – Negotiate the price down to 120rmb. Fake smile.

18:46 – Realize that this is the end of all negotiations. Frown.


18:57 – Go to a random small hotel next to the street. Smile at price: 30rmb. Frown at cold radiator.

19:03 – Decide to settle down in the cold hotel because the owner seems like a nice guy.

19:08 – Move into room, drop backpack and stick, sit down on bed. Lean back and look at ceiling.

19:20 – Get up. Ask owner for restaurant. Cross street with high hopes for good food.

19:27 – Order shaoguo ็ƒง้”…, some kind of boiling pot with all kinds of things in it.

19:30 – Purchase some fruit juice next door.

19:34 – Go back to restaurant. Wash hands. Sit down, peel garlic.

19:43 – Have a good shaoguo with huajuan ่Šฑๅท, a sort of Chinese bread.

20:12 – Leave restaurant, go to supermarket for cookies and yogurt drinks.

20:20 – Arrive in room. Take off gaiters, recharge batteries, turn on computer. Check e-mails.

20:41 – Start going through today’s pictures. Delete some, keep some. Match up with GPS data.

21:17 – Feel unrest in bowels. Prepare tissue and flashlight.

21:20 – Follow hotel owner through the backyard to a loo that can only be described as evil.

21:29 – Great success! Evacuate freezing body from evil loo and navigate back to room.

21:35 – Update map on homepage, write up today’s post.

22:50 – Have cookies and soak feet in hot water bowl. Look at breath evaporating into little white puffs in the cold air.

23:02 – Look at left hand: the “25,7” is still readable. 1,7km missing to the full 1000km today.


23:05 – Take off a few clothes. Decide to leave on sweater and beanie (because of the cold). Climb into sleeping bag.

23:10 – Chat with some friends, every now and then going back to the post and fixing some stuff here and there.

waste time

00:29 – Turn off computer. Touch radiator again. Feel the cold.

00:30 – Turn off light.


  • John

    Very cool. i love it. have been wondering how you mapped it out on the thinredline, and how you measured your progress. and you match up the pics with the gps readings at the time of the picture-taking? and what about the soundtrack? from your ipod tunes that you listen to that day? and congrats in advance on your first 1000 km tomorrow! must feel good!


  • Inge

    Und kein Fruehstueck?

    Der Berg sieht aus wie ein Vulkan ( alt und erodiert) mit Krater in der Mitte.

    Herzlichen Glueckwunsch zu den ersten 1000 km!!!!!
    Und schade, dass man die soundtracks nicht auch abspielen kann!
    Machs gut!


  • David lee

    it seemed tired,didn't you? or just change a way to blog? anyway, hope the second of 1000 km, goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood luck


  • Christoph

    John: I'm using a software to match up the pics with the GPS data. The soundtrack can be something I'm listening to on my cellphone, or sometimes it's just a song that pops into my head during the day or while I'm typing up my posts. It somehow reflects my feelings I think, so I like to include it here.
    Inge: Niemals Frühstück, wenn dann nur Joghurt! ๐Ÿ™‚
    David lee: Just started on the second 1000.


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